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a. Coliseum. 

b. Meta Sudans. 

c. Arch of Constnntine. 

d. Arch of Titus and Velia. 
e Mount Palatine. 
/ Excavated level of the 

g. Present level of Forum. 
h. Arch of Severus. 
t. Temple of Vespasian. 
It. Temple of Saturn. 
I. Clivus Capitolinus, 
m. Capitol, 
n. Temple of Castor and 

o. Temple of Concord 

Bird's eye View of the Forum from the Capita. 


The Student's Rome. 

k?5 ™ 











The right of Translation is reserved. 


This Volume contains the History of Kome, slightly abridged from 
the larger work by the Author (in two volumes, 8vo., 1856), in 
order to render it conformable to the wants of younger students, 
and to make it range with the History of Greece by Dr. William 
Smith. The present Edition has been revised throughout. In two 
points considerable changes have been made. 1. The Author has 
been persuaded, by the arguments of Mommsen, to relinquish the 
attempt to reconcile the account given by Livy of the Battle of the 
Trebia with that given by Polybius. 2. He has also been convinced, 
by the evidence of the excavations made by M. Beule at Carthage, 
that the theory of the site, which had been adopted on the higli 
authority of Estrup, Ritter, Niebuhr and others, is erroneous, and 
that, after all, Roman and Tyrian Carthage stood nearly on the 
same ground. 

jps London: piunted by w. clowes and sons, stamfokd street, 

• HAROLD «. H t:E£ fc.lBRARY 

Coin of Cajsar in 4th Dictatorship, p. 606. 



Sect. Page 

L Physical Geography of Italy , .. 1 

II. Early Population of Italy 3 



I. Origin of Rome : Romulus and Numa 15 

II. Tullus Hostilius and Ancus Martius, the third and fourth kings . . 27 

IU, Tarquinius Priscus and Servius Tullius, the fifth and sixth kings .. 32 

1Y\ Tarquinius Superbus, and the beginnings of the Republic .. .. 48 

V. Observations on the history of Rome under the kings . . . . ". . 59 






VI. Decline of Roman power after the expulsion of the 
Tarquins. Geographical sketch of the neighbour- 
hood of Rome 66 

VII. The Tribunate 71 

VIII. Agrarian law. The election of the Tribunes trans- 
ferred to the Tribes 77 

IX. Wars and foreign affairs from the battle of Lake 

.. Regillus to the Decern virate Si 



B.C. Chap. ^age 

470-449. X. Continued struggle oetween the Orders. The Decem- 

virate. The code of the Twelve Tables 90 

448-406. XI. Sequel of the Decemvirate. Military Tribunate. 

General history to the war with Veii 104 

448-391. XII. Wars since the Decemvirate. Siege of Veii .. .. 110 

390. XIII. The Gauls 116 

389-367. XIV. Sequel of the Gallic War. Licinian Laws. Final 

equalisation of the two Orders 123 


ROME CONQUEROR OF ITALY, (b.c. 366—265.) 

366-344. XV. Sequel of the Licinian Laws, Civil History to the 

first Samnite War. Wars from 389-344 



1 v j 

343-341. XVI. First Samnite War 

340-338. XVII. Great Latin War. Subjection of Latium 

337-326. XVIII. Events leading to the Second Samnite War 

326-304. Second or Great Samnite War 

299-290. XIX. Third Samnite War 

— XX. Civil History during the time of the Samnite Wars 1 69 

289-282. XXL Events between the Third Samnite War and the 

landing of Pyrrhus 175 

280-275. XXII. Pyrrhus in Italy 185 

274-264. XXIII. Final reduction and settlement of Italy 194 



— XXIV. Carthage. Events leading to First Punic War . . 202 
263-241. XXV. First Punic War 207 

— XXVI. Events between the First and Second Punic Wars 220 

218-216. XXVII. Second Punic War. First Period 231 

215-211. XXVIII. Second Punic War. Second Period 253 

210-207. XXIX Second Punic War. Third Period 265 

206-202. XXX. Second Punic War. Fourth and last Period . . . . 277 

— XXXI. Government, Constitutional Changes, and Finances, 

up to the close of the Hannibalic War . . . . 292 

XXXII. Social and Intellectual Condition of the People. — 

Manners — Religion — Literature — Art .. .. 307 




B.C. Chap. Paob 

— XXXIII. Introductory : State of the Eastern World . . . . ' 320 

214-194. XXXIV. First and Second Macedonian Wars : Settlement of 

Greece by Flamininus 327 

192-188. XXXV. War with Antiochus, and settlement of Eastern 

Affairs 340 

200-177. XXXVI. Wars in the West contemporaneous with the Mace- 
donian and Syrian Wars 349 

200-169. XXXVII. Civil History during the Macedonian and Syrian 
Wars : Corruption of manners : Senatorial pre- 
dominance : Scipio and Cato 354 

180-168. XXXVIIL The Third Macedonian War, or War of Perseus . . 364 

166-150. XXXIX. General History between the War with Perseus 

and the last Wars with Greece and Carthage .. 375 

151 146. XL. The last Wars with Macedon and Greece: Fall of 

Corinth 384 

150-146. XLI. Third Punic War : Fall of Carthage .. .... 389 

149-133. XLII. Spanish Wars: Fall of Numantia 399 

133-131. XLIII. First Slave-War in Sicily 405 

— XL1V. The condition of Rome and her people at the close 

of the Period of Conquest 410 

— XLV. Manners and Morals : Literature and Art .. „. 416 



133. XL VI. Tiberius Gracchus 426 

133-129. XL VII. Return and death of Scipio the Younger . . . . 435 

128-121. XL VIII. Caius Gracchus and his times 441 

120-104. XL1X. Jugurtha and his times 453 

105-101, L. The Cimbrians and Teutons | 

103-1 01 . Second Slave-War in Italy f 464 

100-91. LI. From the Sixth Consulship of Marius to the death 

of M. Livius Drusus 473 

90,89. LII. The Social War 483 

88-86. LIII. First Civil War 490 

88-84. LIV. First Mithridatic War 50 1 

83,82. LV, Return of Sylla : Second Civil War 509 

82^78. L VI. Sylla's Dictatorship and death 518 



, 320 



Coin of Ptolemy Philadelphia . . 
Coin of Philip V., King of Ma- 


Coin of the Quinctian Gens, 
bearing the head of Flamini- 


Coin of Antiochus the Great . . 
Tomb of the Scipios, as restored 

by Canina 354 

Coin of Perseus 364 

Coin of Lepidus, representing 
Paullus triumphing over Per- 
seus and his Children . . . . 374 

Coin of AttalusI 375 

Plan of Tyrian Carthage . . . . 393 
Tomb on the Appian Way . . 410 
Medallion of Terence .. ..416 

BustofEnnius 425 

The Forum from the Capitol ..426 
Tomb on the Appian Way . . 435 
Walls of Rome, from the inside 441 

Caius Marius 464 

Coin of the Eight Italian Nations, 
joining in an Oath of Federa- 
tion, with the Legend Italia 
Coin of the Two Allied Nations 
who last held out, with the 
name of Papius in Oscan cha- 
racters 489 


Coin of Mithridates VI 

Coin. — Temple of Jupiter on 
Capitol, and head of Jupiter 

Tomb near Alba, G. W 

Cn. Pompeius Magnus 
Slab from Arch of Titus, repre- 
senting the Spoils of Jerusa- 
lem borne in Triumph 
M. Tullius Cicero, G. W. 

C. Julius Cffisar, G. W 

Coin of Caesar 

Coin to commemorate Conquest 

of Gaul 

Parthian Coin 

Roman Arch at Beneventum . . 
Coin to comemmorate the taking 

of Egypt 

M. Junius Brutus, G. W. 
Coins struck upon the death of 


Coins of the Triumvirs 

Fine Coin of Antony, executed at 


Antony and Cleopatra 
Figure Head of Roman Galley, 
dredged up near Actium 


M. Vipsanius Agrippa 












The initials G. W. denote that the Illustrations were copied from original Sketches 
by Sir Gardner Wilkinson, obligingly lent by him to the Publisher.* 

The Figure Bead of a Roman Galley (p. 638) was the property of the late Lieut.-Gen. 
Sir Howard Douglas, Bart., having been discovered while he was Lord High Commia- 
sioner of the Ionian Islands. 

Coin with head of Janus. 





1. Relation of Italy to Roman History. § 2. Length of Italian Peninsula. 
§ 3. Breadth, § 4. Extent of surface. § 5. Geographical features of 
Italy : Few prominent Headlands and large Gulfs. § 6. Few Islands. 
§ 7. No large Rivers, except in the valley of the Po. § 8. No large Plains, 
except in same valley. § 9. No larg« Lakes, except in same valley : Peculiar 
character of Lakes in many parts of sub-Apennine districts. § 10. Marshy 
character of some districts. § 11. Climate. § 12. Productions. § 13. 
Beauty of scenery. 

§ 1. The History of Rome is properly the history of a City, or 
rather a Civic Community, which gradually extended its sway, 
first over all Italy, then over all the countries bordering upon 
the Mediterranean Sea. It was, according to the common 
reckoning, nearly five centuries before the citizens of Rome 
became lords of Lower Italy ;* in another century they had be- 
come the sovereign power of the civilised world.f It is difficult, 
therefore, in attempting a geographical sketch for the purpose 
of elucidating Roman History, to determine where we ought to 
begin and where to end. For during a long period we are hardly 
carried out of sight of the Capitol ; and at the close of that 
period we are hurried with startling rapidity into the heart of 
every country, from the Atlantic to the mountains of Asia Minor, 
from the ridges of the Alps to the plains that lie beneath Mount 
Atlas. But since the origin and composition of the people whom 
we call Romans depend upon the early state and population 
of Italy at large, and since in course of time all Italians became 

* 753- -265 b.c. 

f 264—133 B.C. 



Romans, it will be well to follow the usual custom, and begin 
with a geographical sketch of the Italian Peninsula. 

§ 2. This Peninsula, the central one of the three which stretch 
boldly forward from the southern coasts of Europe, lies nearly 
between the parallels of north latitude 38° and 46°. Its length 
therefore, measured along a meridian arc, ought to be about 550 
miles. But since, unlike the other two Mediterranean Penin- 
sulas, it runs in a direction nearly diagonal to the lines of latitude 
and longitude, its real length, measured from Mont Blanc to 
Cape Spartivento, is about 700 miles. 

§ 3. To estimate the breadth of this long and singularly- 
shaped Peninsula, it may conveniently be divided into two parts 
by a line drawn across from the mouths of the Po to the northern 
point of Etruria. Below this line the average breadth of the leg 
of Italy does not much exceed 100 miles. Above this line both 
coasts trend rapidly outwards, so that the upper portion forms 
an irregularly shaped figure, which lies across the top of the leg, 
being bounded on the North and West by the Alpine range from 
Illyria to the mouth of the Var, on the South by the imaginary 
line before drawn together with the Gulf of Genoa, and on the 
East by the head of the Adriatic Sea. The length of this figure 
from east to west is not less than 350 miles ; while from north 
to south it measures, on the average, more than 120 miles. 

§ 4. The surface of the whole Peninsula, including both the 
leg of Italy and the irregular figure at the top, is estimated at 
more than 80,000 square miles, or, an area not much less than the 
surface of Great Britain and Ireland. But a very large propor- 
tion of this surface is unproductive, and a great part even inca- 
pable of tillage. 

§ 5. The geographical features are simple. No deep gulfs 
and inlets are to be expected ; for these are only found when 
mountain-chains jut out into the sea and maintain themselves 
as headlands, while the lower land between is eaten and washed 
away by the ceaseless action of the waves. Such phenomena 
are presented by Greece, and by the western coasts of Scotland, 
Wales, and Ireland. But in Italy there is but one mountain- 
chain, running with more or less regularity down the length of 
the Peninsula. This chain is attached to the Alps above Genoa, 
and strikes in an easterly direction across the leg of Italy, till it 
nearly touches the Adriatic near Ariminum (Bimini). Here the 
range takes a turn to the south-east, and spreads across the 
Peninsula in an irregular mass of mountains, the highest of which 
(11 (j ran Sasso) attains the height of about 10,000 feet. But shortly 
the dimensions of the chain again contract, and its elevations fall ; 
and it runs down to Lucania almost parallel to the coast of tks 


Adriatic. After this it forks off into two branches ; one, the loftier 
and more rugged, running towards the toe of the Peninsula, the 
other, of less elevation, forming the heel. The low lands between 
these two ranges have been scooped out by, the waves, and here 
has been formed the great gulf of Tarentum, a vast expanse of 
sea, measuring from point to point no less than 80 miles. But 
except this great gulf, the coasts of the Peninsula are indented 
by comparatively gentle curves. On the northern side the single 
inequality is presented by the projecting mass of Mount Garganus, 
which forms with the lower coast what is now called the bay of 
Manfredonia. On the sole of the foot, below the gulf of Tarentum 
we find the bay of Squillace (Sinus Scylacius). After passing the 
straits of Messina, occurs the bay of St. Eufemia (Sinus Vibo- 
nensis), which is separated from that of Squillace by a neck of 
land less than 20 miles in breadth. A little higher up we come 
to a wide sweep in the coast, known by the name of the bay of 

Then follows the most irregular part of the coast, being that 
which bounds the mountainous district of the centre ; and it is 
this part which deserves particular attention from the student of 
Roman History. Between the point at which ancient Lucania 
touches on Campania, and the point at which Latium begins, 
a distance of about 120 miles, the coast-line is broken into three 
fine bays ; the bay of Psestum or Salerno on the south, the bay of 
Gaeta on the north, and between them the smallest but most 
famous and most beautiful of the three — the bay of Cumse or 
Naples. From Cape Circello (Circeii), which forms the northern 
horn of the bay of Gaeta, the coast-line runs onward to Genoa, 
unbroken save by the headlands of Argentaro and Piombino in 
Tuscany. But these do not project far enough to form any recess 
worthy to be named. The little bay of Spezzia, just north of 
Tuscany, forms a good harbour, but is otherwise not deserving 
of mention as a geographical feature. 

§ 6. The same circumstance which prevents Italy from 
abounding in deep bays and bold headlands also generally pre- 
vents its coasts from being studded with islands, which are but 
relics of projecting mountain- chains. If we omit Sicily, which is 
in fact a continuation of the Peninsula separated by a channel of 
two or three miles broad, and the Lipari islands, which are due 
to the volcanic action still at work beneath Etna and Versuvius, 
the islands of Italy are insignificant. Caprese (Capri) on the 
one hand, Prochyta (Procida) and Ischia on the other, are frag- 
ments of the two headlands that form the bay of Naples. Igilium 
(Giglio) and Ilva (Elba) stand in a similar relation to the head- 
lands of Argentaro and Piombino. Besides these may be named 

b 2 


Pontise (Ponza), Pandataria, with a few more barren rocks off the 
bay of Gaeta, and a few even less important on the coast of 

§ 7. Except in Northern Italy, which abounds in noble rivers, 
the narrowness of the Peninsula forbids the existence of really 
large streams. Yet, the Apennine range, which forms on its 
lower side along parallel valleys, enables numerous torrents 
and rills which descend towards the south to swell into rivers 
of not inconsiderable size. Such especially are the Arno and 
the Tiber. Their waters are separated by the hills which ter- 
minate in the headlands of Argentaro and Piombino, so that 
the Arno flows northward, and enters the sea on the northern 
frontier of Tuscany, after a course of about 120 miles; while 
the Tiber runs in a southerly direction, receiving the waters 
of the Clanis from the west, and those of the Nar (Nera) 
and Velinus from the east, till its course is abruptly turned 
by the Sabine hills. The entire length of its channel is about 
180 miles. These two well-known rivers, with their affluents, 
drain the whole of Etruria, the Sabine country, and the Cam- 
pagna of Eome. 

Similar in their course, but on a smaller scale, are the Anio 
(Teverone) and the Liris. They both rise in the iEquian hills, 
the Anio flowing northward to swell the stream of the Tiber a 
little above Pome : the Liris, joined by the Trerus (Sacco) from 
the west, running southward so as to drain southern Latium and 
Northern Campania, till it turns abruptly towards the sea, and 
enters it about the middle of the bay of Gaeta, after a course of 
about 80 miles. 

The Vulturnus and the Calor run down opposite valleys from 
the north and south of the Samnite territory, till they join their 
streams on the frontier of Campania, and fall into the bay of 
Gaeta only a short distance below the Liris. Both of these 
streams measure from their sources to their united mouth not 
less than 100 miles. 

The only other notable river on the southern coast is the 
Silarus (Sele), which descends by a channel of about 60 miles 
from the central Apennines of Lucania into the bay of Psestum or 
Salerno. In the foot of Italy the mountains come down so close 
to the* sea that from the mouth of the Silarus to the lower angle 
of the gulf of Tarentum, the streams are but short and rapid 
torrents. Of these it is said that no fewer than eighty may be 
enumerated between Paestum and the straits of Messina. The 
gulf of Tarentum receives some streams of importance. The 
Bradanus and Casuentus (Basento) enter the gulf within four 
miles Gf each other after a course of about 60 miles. The Aciris 


(Agri) is to the south of these. The Siris (Sinno), notable as the 
scene of the first battle between Pyrrhus and the "Romans is a 
mere torrent, as is the Galesus upon which Tarentum stands. 

The northern or Adriatic Goast is broken into abrupt gorges, at 
right angles to the main chain, and therefore has few considerable 
streams. The Aufidus (Ofanto) in Apulia, renowned in Roman 
history from the fact that the fatal battle of Cannae took place 
upon its banks, rises on the opposite side of the same range from 
which the Calor flows, and runs a course of about 80 miles. The 
Sagrus (Sangx^o) stands in the same relation to the Vulturnus as 
the Aufidus to the Calor, and conveys the waters of the Fucine 
lake from the iEquian hills through Samnium, by a nearly similar 
length of channel. But the largest river of this side is the 
Aternus, which finds its way from the Sabine hills into a valley 
parallel to the main range, and thus prolongs its course. It is 
joined by a number of smaller streams, and attains a considerable 
volume of water before it reaches the sea at the point where the 
Marrucinian coast abuts on that of Picenum. 

The whole coast from Mount Garganus northward is ploughed 
by numberless torrents which descend in rapid course down 
steep mountain gorges. Of these we need but name the /Esis 
between Picenum and Umhria ; the Metaurus in Umbria, famous 
for the defeat of Hasdrubal ; the Rubicon, which formed the 
boundary of Roman Italy on the northern side, as did the Macra 
(Magra) on the opposite coast. 

§ 8. The limestone mountain tract of the Apennines, which 
occupies the whole narrow Peninsula from the great valley of the 
Po downwards, is often too steep, bare and rugged, to be capable 
of cultivation. There are, however, many rich plains of limited 
extent, among which Campania ranks first, with many narrow- 
but fertile vales, in which nature rewards labour with bountiful 
returns ; and the upland valleys afford good summer pasture for 
the flocks, when the vegetation of the plains is burnt up by the 
sun. In the continental portion of the modern kingdom of 
Naples, consisting of about half the leg of Italy, it is calculated 
that little more than one half of the land is at present under 
cultivation. In the States of the Church, and on the sea- coast 
of Tuscany, the proportion is even less. 

§ 9. In speaking of lakes, we must resume our twofold divi- 
sion of the Peninsula. On the Alpine slopes of the great valley 
of the Po, the Granitic and Ancient Limestone rocks break into 
vast chasms at right angles to their general direction, in which 
the waters of the rivers that flow downwards to join the Po accu- 
mulate and form those lakes so well known to all lovers of natural 
beauty, — Benacus (Lago di Garda) formed by the waters of the 


Mincius, Larius (Lago di Como) by those of the Adda, Verbanus 
(Lago Maggiore) by those of the Ticino, not to mention the lakes of 
Lugano, Orta, and others, smaller indeed, but not less beautiful. 

But Apennine Italy, considering the great extent of its moun- 
tain districts, does not present many considerable lakes. Nor 
are these formed by the accumulated waters of rivers flowing 
through them, like the lakes of northern Italy or Switzerland. 
For the most part, like the lakes of Greece, they have no visible 
outlet, but lose their waters partly by evaporation, partly by 
underground fissures and channels. The Fucine lake in the 
iEquian hills feeds the Sangro, and lake Bradanus in the 
south feeds the river of the same name. But the celebrated 
lake of Trasimene in Etruria, and the lakes of the volcanic 
district, as the " great Volsinian Mere," the lakes of Alba, Nemi, 
Amsanctus, and others, have no visible outlet. These, in fact, 
are the craters of extinct volcanoes. Roman history contains 
legends which relate to the artificial tapping of these caldrons ; 
and some of the tunnels cut through their rocky basins still 

§ 10. The abundance of water which is poured over the hills, 
is apt to accumulate in marshy swamps in the low districts 
towards the sea. Such is the case along the lower course 
of the Po, on the coast-lands of Tuscany, and in the lower 
part of the Campagna of Rome. Mantua, which stands a little 
above the junction of the Mincio with the Po, is surrounded by 
marshes ; and the whole coast between Venice and Ravenna is a 

To keep the Po and its tributaries within their channels, the 
Lombards of the Middle Ages raised embankments on either 
side of the stream. But these embankments cause the rivers 
to deposit the whole of the mud with which they are charged 
within their channels, and the quantity thus deposited is so 
great that it is necessary to raise the embankments continually. 
Hence, in the course of centuries, the bottoms of the rivers 
have been elevated considerably above the plains ; so that the 
streams of Lombardy in their lower course are in fact carried 
along huge earthen aqueducts. In time, human industry will 
not be equal to raise these embankments in sufficient strength, 
and a deluge will ensue more fearful than those which the poet 
of Mantua seems to have witnessed.* 

* " Non sic, aggeribus ruptis, quum spurn eus amnis 

Exiit, oppositasque evicit gurgite moles, 
Fertur in arva furens cumulo, camposque per omnes 
Cum stabulis armenta tulit." 

Virg., Aen. ii. 496 ; cf, Georg. i. 322, sq. 


§ 11. The climate of Italy, like its physical structure, is ex- 
tremely different in the northern and in the southern part of 
the Peninsula. In the valley of the Po the winters are often 
extremely severe, so that towards the close of the last century 
all the olive-trees in that district were killed by the frost. On 
the south of the Apennines the climate is much milder in the 
winter, though in spring the winds are often very cold. Snow 
is rarely seen in the Campagna di Roma, or in the neighbour- 
hood of Naples at the present day ; though in the times of the 
ancients it seems to have been not uncommon. 

Italy is in general a healthy country. The men are active, 
vigorous, and well-grown ; the women, in their youth, handsome. 
Some parts, however, are afflicted by pestilential air (malaria), 
especially the lower part of Tuscany, and the Campagna di Roma. 
Parts of Calabria also are extremely unhealthy, and all the 
southern side of the Apennines suffers from the south-easterly 
wind, called the Sirocco, which comes charged with suffocating 
heat from Africa and Arabia. 

§ 12. The productions are those of the Temperate Zone in 
their highest perfection. Wherever there is a sufficiency of soil 
and water, as in the valleys leading to the plain of Lombardy, 
or descending to the sea from either side of the Apennines, grain 
of all kinds is produced in great abundance. In ancient days, 
the plain of Lombardy, now so highly cultivated, was thickly 
covered with oak forests, that furnished food to countless herds 
of swine. Many parts of the Apennines are still well clothed 
with chestnut trees, and the inhabitants of the upland valleys 
live on their fruit during the winter. Modern ingenuity and 
industry have fertilised many of these districts by the help of 
artificial irrigation.* On the southern slopes of the Apennines 
olives flourish : and the vine is cultivated largely in all parts of 
the Peninsula. For this last purpose the sunny terraces of the 
limestone mountains are especially suited. But want of care, 

* The practice of irrigation was known to antiquity, as appears from 
Virgil's well-known line (Eel. iii. 11) : — 

" Claudite jam rivos, pueri, sat prata biberunt." 

But that it was rude and imperfect appears from the beautiful description in 
Georg. i. 106, sqq. : — 

" Deinde satis fluvium inducit, rivosque sequentes: 
Et quum exustus ager morientibus sestuat herbis, 
Ecce supercilio clivosi tramitis undam 
Elicit : ilia cadens raucura per levia murmur 
Saxa ciet, scatebrisque arentia temperat arva." 

It may, indeed, be observed that this description is partly borrowed from 

Iliad #. 257, sqq. 


in the treatment of the plant or in the manufacture of the 
wine, makes the wines of Italy very inferior in quality to 
those, of France or of the Spanish Peninsula, though in ancient 
times the vineyards of northern Campania enjoyed a high re- 
putation. Every schoolboy knows the names of the Massic and 
Falernian hills, of the Calene and Formian vineyards. In the 
southern parts the date-palm is found in gardens, though this 
and other tropical plants are not natural to the climate, as they 
are in the south of the Spanish Peninsula, which lies about two 
degress nearer to the region of the vertical sun. The plains of 
Apulia were chiefly given up to pasturage — a custom which con- 
tinues to the present day. 

§ 13. The natural beauty of Italy is too well known to need 
many words here. The lovers of the sublime will find no more 
magnificent mountain-passes than those which descend through 
the Alps to the plains of Lombardy. In the valley of the Dora 
Baltea, from its source under Mont Blanc to Aosta and Ivrea, 
all the grandeur of Switzerland is to be found, enriched by the 
colours and warmth of a southern sky : the cold green and gray 
of the central chain here passes into gold and purple. In the 
same district is found the most charming lake scenery in the 
world, where the sunny hills and warm hues of Italy are backed 
by the snowy range of the towering Alps. Those who prefer 
rich culture may gratify their utmost desires in the lower vale 
of the Po about Lodi and Cremona, or across the Apennines 
in the valley of the Arno and in Campania. If we follow the 
southern coast/ probably the world presents no lovelier passages 
than meet the traveller's eye as he skirts the Maritime Alps 
where they overhang the sea cornice-like, between Nice and 
Genoa ; or below Campania, where the limestone of the Apen- 
nines, broken by volcanic eruptions, strikes out into the sea 
between the bays of Naples and Salerno. The Romans, who 
became lords of all Italy and of the civilised world, sprang up 
in one of the least enviable portions of the whole Peninsula. 
The attractions of modern Rome are less of nature than of 
association. The traveller would little care to linger on the 
banks of the Tiber, if it were stripped of its buildings and its 

( 9 ) 


§ 1. Constant invasions of Italy, notwithstanding Alpine barrier. § 2. Its 
subdivision among numerous tribes. § 3. Signification of the name Italy 
in Roman times. § 4. Koman Italy occupied by at least six distinct races. 
§ 5. Pelasgians. § 6. Opicans or Oscans : the Umbrians: the Sabellians. 
§ 7. Etruscans. § 8. Greeks. § 9. Romans a compound race. § 10. 
Evidence of Tradition, §11. Evidence of Language: — Roman language 
akin to the Greek in structure, being probably Pelasgian, with an Italian 
vocabulary added. § 12. Sources of early Roman History* 

§ 1. It is a common remark, that mountains are the chief boun- 
daries of countries, and that races of men are found in their 
purest state when they are separated by these barriers from 
admixture with other tribes, Italy forms an exception to this 
rule. It was not so much the " fatal gift of beauty," of which 
the poet speaks,* as the richness of its northern plain, that 
attracted successive tribes of invaders over the Alps. From 
the earliest dawn of historic knowledge, we hear of one tribe 
after another sweeping like waves over the Peninsula, each 
forcing its predecessor onward, till there arose a power strong 
enough to drive back the current, and bar aggression for many 
an age. This power was the Roman Empire, which forced the 
Gauls to remain on the northern side of the Apennines, and 
preserved Italy untouched by the foot of the foreigner for cen- 
turies. No sooner was this power weakened, than the incursions 
again began; and the fairest provinces of the Peninsula have 
hardly yet (1865) succeeded in escaping from foreign rule. 

§ 2. But if the northern barriers of the Peninsula failed to 
check the lust of invaders, its long straggling shape, intersected 
by mountains from top to bottom, materially assisted in break- 
ing it up into a number of different nations. Except during the 
strength of the Eoman Empire Italy has always been parcelled 
out into a number of small states. In the earliest times it was 
shared among a number of tribes differing in race and language. 
Great pains have been taken to investigate the origin and cha- 
racter of these primaeval nations. But the success has not been 
great, and it is not our purpose to dwell on intricate questions 
of this kind. We will here only give results so far as they seem 
to be established. 

* The stanzas of Filicaja are well known from their version in Childe Harold 
" Italia, oh Italia ! would thou wert less lovely, or more powerful/' &c. 

B 3 

10 HISTORY OF ROME. Introd. 

§ 3. It is well known that it was not till the close of the Ke- 
public, or rather the beginning of the Empire, that the name of 
Italy was employed, as we now employ it, to designate the whole 
Peninsula, from the Alps to the Straits of Messina. The term 
Italia, borrowed from the name of a primaeval tribe who occu- 
pied the southern portion of the land,* was gradually adopted as 
a generic title in the same obscure manner in which most of the 
countries of Europe, or (we may say) the Continents of the world 
have received their appellations. In the remotest times the name 
only included (Enotria proper (Lower Calabria) : f from these nar- 
row limits it gradually spread upwards, till about the time of the 
Punic Wars, its northern boundary ascended the little river Ru- 
bicon (between Umbria and Cisalpine Gaul), followed the ridge of 
the Apennines westward to the source of the Macra, and was 
carried down the bed of that small stream to the Gulf of Genoa. 

When we speak of Italy, therefore, in the Roman sense of the 
word, we must dismiss from our thoughts all that fertile country 
which was at Rome entitled the provincial district of Gallia 
Cisalpina and Liguria, and which was nearly equivalent to the 
territory now subject to the crowns of Sardinia and Austria, with 
the Duchies of Parma and Modena, and the upper portion of the 
States of the Church. 

§ 4. But under Roman rule even this narrower Italy wanted 
that unity of race and language which, in spite of political sever- 
ance, we are accustomed to attribute to the name. Within the 
boundaries just indicated there were at least four distinct races, 
some no doubt more widely separated, but all marked by strong 
national characteristics. These were the Pelasgians, the Os- 
cans with the Umbrians and Sabellians, the Etrurians, and the 

§ 5. It is probable that in primitive times the coasts and lower 
valleys of Italy were peopled by tribes cognate to those which 
peopled the opposite shores of Greece and Epirus. These tribes 
belonged to that ancient stock called the Pelasgian, of which so 
much has been written and so little is known. The names that 
remained in Southern Italy were of a half-Hellenic character. 
Such were, in the heel of Italy, the Daunians and Peucetians 
(reputed to be of Arcadian origin), the Messapians or Iapygians, 
and Sallentines ; to the south of the Gulf of Tarentum, the Chao- 
nians (who are also found in Epirus) ; and in the toe the QEno- 

* Italos is said to have been the same as Vitulus, so that Italia might mean 
Cattle-land. Samnite coins struck during the Social War bear the inscrip- 
tion Vitelu for Italia. 

t Properly only the toe of Italy, from the Bay of Squillace to that of 
S, Euphemia (the Sinus Scylacius to the S. Lameticus), Avist. Polit. vii. 10. 


trians, who once gave name to all Southern Italy.* Such per- 
haps were also the Siculians and other tribes along the coast 
from Etruria to Campania, who were driven out by the invading 
Oscan and Sabellian nations. t 

§ 6. The Oscan or Opican race was at one time very widely 
spread over the south. The Auruncans of Lower Latium be- 
longed to this race, as also the Ausonians, who once gave name 
to central Italy, J an d perhaps also the Volscians and the iEquians. 
But the most important branch of this stock were the Samnites. 
In their mountains and in Campania the Oscan language was 
preserved to a late period in Koman History, and inscriptions 
still remain which have in part at least been interpreted, and 
which show a strong affinity with Latin. 

The Umbrians are held to have been the oldest of the Italian 
races. The Umbrians proper were in the historical times con- 
fined within a scanty territory between the Rubicon, the iEsis and 
the Tiber. But at one time they possessed dominion over great 
part of central Italy. Inscriptions in their language also remain, 
which show that they spoke a tongue not alien to the Latin. 

With them were closely allied the Sabellian tribes. Under 
this name we include the Sabines, who are said by tradition to 
have been the progenitors of the whole race, the Picenians, Ves- 
tinians, Marsians, Marrucinians, Pelignians, and Frentanians. 
These tribes seem to have been naturally given to a pastoral life, 
and therefore fixed their early settlements in the upland valleys 
of the Apennines. Pushing gradually along this central range, 
the mountaineers penetrated downwards towards the Gulf of 
Tarentum ; and as their population became too dense to find 
support in their native hills, bands of warrior youths issued forth 
to settle in the richer plains below. There they mingled with 
the Oscan and Pelasgian nations of the south, and formed new 
tribes, known by the names of Apulians, Lucanians, and Cam- 
panians. These more recent tribes, in turn, threatened the great 
Greek colonies on the coast, of which we shall speak presently. 
The remnants of the Sabine and Samnite tongues indicate a 
near relation to the Latin ; so that on this evidence it may be 
inferred with certainty that the Oscans, Umbrians, and the 
Sabellians were of kindred race. 

§ 7. We now come to the Etruscans, the most singular people 

* " Terra antiqua, potens armis atque ubere glebae j 
(Enotri coluere viri : nunc fama minores 
Italiam dixisse ducis de nomine gen tern." — Virg., Aen. i. 532. 

•j* For a clear and intelligible account of the Palasgians, see Dr. Smith's 
Hist, of Greece, p. 14. 

J Virgil, &c. Aristotle (Polit. vii, 10) says that the Opicans were formerly 
oalled Ausones. 

12 HISTORY OF ROME. Introd. 

of the Peninsula. This people called themselves Kasena, or 
Rasenna — a name that reminds us of the Etruscan surnames, 
Porsenna, Vibenna, Sisenna. At one time they possessed not 
only the country known to the Romans as Etruria (that is, the 
country bounded by the Macra, the central Apennine ridge, and 
the Tiber), but also occupied a large portion of Liguria and Cis- 
alpine Gaul ; * and perhaps they had settlements in Campania, f 
In early times they possessed a powerful navy, and in the pri- 
mitive Greek legends they are represented as infesting the 
Mediterranean with their piratical galleys. £ They seem to have 
been driven out of their Trans-Apennine possession by early 
invasions of the Gauls ; and their naval power never recovered 
the blow which it received in the year 474 B.C., when Hiero King 
of Syracuse defeated their navy, combined with that of Carthage, 
off the coast of Cumae- 

But who this people were, or whence they came, baffles con- 
jecture. It may be assumed as certain, that the Pelasgic settlers 
came in by sea from the western coasts of Epirus/ which are 
distant from Italy less than fifty miles ; and that the Opican, 
Umbrian, and Sabellian races came in from the north by land. 
But with respect to the Etruscans all is doubtful. . One well- 
known legend represents them as Lydians, who fled by sea from 
Asia Minor to avoid the terrible presence of famine. Another 
indicates that they came down over the Alps, and the origin of 
their name Rasena is traced in Raetia. On the former supposi- 
tion, Etruria was their earliest settlement, and, pushing north- 
ward, they conquered the plain of the Po ; on the latter, they 
first took possession of this fertile plain, and then spread south- 
ward over the Apennines. 

Their language, if it could be interpreted, might help to solve 
the riddle. But though we have numerous inscriptions in their 
tombs, though the characters in which these inscriptions are 
written bear close affinity to the letters of the Greek and Roman 
alphabets, though words of Italian and Greek origin have been 
discovered in them, yet the native tongue of this remarkable 
people has as yet baffled the deftest efforts of philology., 

§ 8. Of the Greek settlements that studded the coast of 

* Allusion is made to this in Virgil (Aen. x. 198-206) where the Etruscan 
chief Ocnus, the son of Manto, is said to have founded Mantua ('* muros ma- 
t risque debit tibi, Mantua, nomen "), and to have brought his troops from the 
Lago di Garda : — 

" Quos patre Benaco velatus arundine glauca 
Miucius infesta ducebat in aequora pinu ." 

f Capua, according to tradition, was named from Capys, an Etruscan chief. 

J See the pretty Hymn to Dionysos, attributed to Homer, in which Etruscan 
pirates take the god prisoner, and are punished in a strange fashion for their 


Lower Italy, and gave to that district the name of Magna 
Graecia, little need here be said. They were not planted till 
after the foundation of Rome. Many of them, indeed, attained 
to great power and splendour ; and the native Osco-Pelasgian 
population of the south became their subjects or their serfs. 
Sybaris alone, in the course of two centuries, is said to have 
become mistress of four nations and twenty-five towns, and to 
have been able to raise a civic force of 300,000 men. Croton, 
her rival, was even larger.* Greek cities appear as far north as 
Campania, where Naples still preserves in a corrupt form her 
Hpllenic name, Neapolis. The Greek remains discovered at 
Canusium (Canosi) in the heart of Apulia, attest the extent of 
Hellenic dominion. But* the Greeks seem to have held aloof 
from mixture with the native Italians, whom they considered as 
barbarians. Borne is not mentioned by any Greek writer before 
the time of Aristotle (about 340 B.C.). 

§ 9. From the foregoing sketch it will appear that Latium 
formed a kind of focus, in which all the different races that in 
past centuries had been thronging into Italy converged. The 
Etruscans bordered on Latium to the west ; the Sabines, w 7 ith the 
Umbrians behind them, to the north ; the iEquians and Volscians, 
with the Samnites behind them, to the north-east and east ; while 
Pelasgian communities are to be traced upon the coast-lands. 
We should then expect beforehand to meet with a people formed 
by a commixture of divers tribes ; and this expectation is confirmed 
both by ancient Tradition and by the investigations of modern 
scholars into the structure of the Latin Language. 

§ 10. Tradition tells us that the Aborigines of Latium mingled 
in early times with a people calling themselves Siculians ; that 
these Siculians, being conquered and partly expelled from Italy, 
took refuge in the island, . which was afterwards called Sicily 
from them, but was at that time peopled by a tribe named Sica- 
nians ; that the conquering people were named Sacranians, and 
had themselves been forced down from the Sabine valleys in the 
neighbourhood of Keat6 by Sabellian invaders ; and that from 
this mixture of Aborigines, Siculians, and Sacranians arose the 
people known afterwards by the name of Latins. 

Where all is uncertain, conjecture is easy. It might be alleged 
that the Aborigines and Siculians, both of them, or at least the 
latter, were Pelasgians, and that the Sacranians were Oscan. All 
such conjectures must remain unproved. But they all bear wit- 
ness to the compound nature of the Latin nation. 

§ 11. An examination of language leads us a little further. 

(1.) The Latin language contains a very large number of words 

* See more in Dr. Smith's History of Greece, pp. 120-123. 

14 HISTORY OF ROME. Introd. 

closely resembling the Greek; and, what is particularly to be 
observed, the grammatical inflexion of the nouns and verbs, 
with all that may be called the framework of the language, closely 
resembles that ancient dialect of the Hellenic called .'Eolic. But 
it is not to be supposed that these roots and forms were borrowed 
from the Greek ; for these same roots and forms are found in 
Sanscrit, the ancient language of India. In many of its forms, 
indeed, Latin more nearly resembles Sanscrit than Greek. It must 
be inferred, then, that these languages all branched off from one 
stock. And it may be affirmed that the form under which this 
original language first appeared in Latium was Pelasgian or half- 

(2.) Though the framework and a large portion of the vocabu- 
lary resembles the Greek, there is also a large portion which is 
totally foreign to the Greek. This foreign element was certainly 
not Etruscan : for if so, we should find many words in the 
Etruscan inscriptions agreeing with words in Latin ; whereas, in 
fact, we find but few. But in the Oscan, Umbrian, and Sabel- 
lian inscriptions we find words much resembling the Latin ; and 
it may be inferred that these Italian races had been blended 
with the Pelasgian, and that the Latin tongue was a mixture of 
the two. 

(3.) It is certain that the nation we call Roman was more than 
half Sabellian. Traditional history, as we shall see, attributes 
the conquest of Rome to a Sabine tribe. Some of her kings were 
Sabine ; the name borne by her citizens was Sabine ; her reli- 
gion was Sabine ; most of her institutions in war and peace were 
Sabine ; and therefore it may be concluded that the language 
of the Roman people differed from that of Latium Proper by 
its Sabine elements, though this difference died out again as 
the Latin communities were gradually absorbed into the terri- 
tory of Rome. 

§ 12. This is the utmost that we can be said to know. We 
will now pass on to the Legends in which is preserved the early 
History of Rome. It may be observed that no people is so rich 
in legendary history as the Romans. Their patriotic pride pre- 
served the stories of their ancestors from generation to genera- 
tion, till they were, so to say, embalmed by poets who lived in 
the times of the Punic Wars. These poems, indeed, have, with 
the exception of a few fragments, perished ; but we learn from 
Cicero how highly they were esteemed in his day, and in the 
epic poem of Virgil, with the scarcely less poetic prose of Livy's 
early history, they still live. Prom these great writers chiefly 
are derived those famous Legends, which are now to be recounted 
for the hundredth time. 

Wolf of the Capitol. 





§ 1. Belief of the Romans that they were sprung from the East. § 2. Legend 
of ./Eneas. § 3. Legend of Ascanius. § 4. Legend of Rea Silvia, and 
birth of the Twins. § 5. Legend of recognition of Twins by Numitor. 
§ 6. Legend of the quarrel of Romulus and Remus. Variations in Legends. 
§ 7. Romulus founds Rome. Uncertainty of dates. § 8. Asylum. Rape 
of Sabines. § 9. War with Sabines. Legends of Tarpeia, of Janus, of: 
Sabine women. § 10. Peace between Romans and Sabines. Romulus 
and Titus Tatius joint Kings. § 11. Legend of Cseles Vibenna and 
Etruscan settlers at Rome. Four of Seven Hills now occupied. § 12. 
Death of Titus Tatius. Reign and death of Romulus. § 13. Institutions 
attributed to Romulus; (1) Social; (2) Political; (3) Military. §14. 
Interregnum: Numa Pompilius, a Sabine, second king of Rome. § 15. 
Religious institutions attributed to Numa. § 16. His love of agriculture 
§ 1 7. Other institutions. 

§ 1. It was the pride of the Romans to believe that they were 
descended from the ancient nations to the East of the Mediter- 


ranean Sea. All their early legends point to Greece and Troy. 
How far the Pelasgian origin of the nation may account for this 
belief may be conjectured, but cannot be determined. It may, 
however, be assumed that the Arcadian Evander and his followers, 
whom the Legends represent as the first settlers on the Palatine 
Hill, were Pelasgians ; and it is more than probable that the 
Trojan iEneas and his followers, who are believed to have 
coalesced with the Arcadians of the Palatine, were likewise 
Pelasgians. With this preface we proceed to the Legends 

§ 2. Virgil has told the tale of the flight of iEneas, and every 
one knows how he escaped from the flames of Troy, bearing his 
father Anchises on his shoulders, and leading his boy Ascanius 
by the hand, to seek a new home in Hesperia, the Land of 
Promise in the West. His piety or reverential affection * was 
not confined to his own family. He rescued also the gods of his 
father's household from the flames, and he was rewarded by the 
favour of Heaven. Mercury or Hermes guided his steps from 
the burning city ; the star cf his mother Venus led him safely 
to the shores of the western land. 

Nor did the protection of the Gods desert him when he had 
reached the long-sought shores of Italy. Omens and signs told 
him that he had reached the promised land, and that Latium 
was to be the cradle of the new people which was to spring from 
the loins of the Trojan settlers. A white sow farrowed on the 
coast, and gave birth to the prodigious number of thirty young. 

But before the Trojans could obtain a fixed settlement, it w T as 
needful to come to terms with the people of the country. These 
were the Aborigines, or children of the soil.f Their King's name 
was Latinus, and their chief city Laurentum. They treated the 
new comers kindly, and Latinus bestowed his daughter Lavinia 
in marriage to iEneas, who therefore gave to the town which he 
built on the spot where the white sow had farrow^ed the name of 

This agreement, however, had not come to pass without 
bloodshed. Lavinia had been betrothed to Turnus, the 3 r oung 
chief of the Rutulians of Ardea. He, wrathful with disappoint- 
ment, made war upon the strangers. iEneas sought the aid of 
Evander the Arcadian, who had founded a city on the Palatine 
Hill, which afterwards became Rome ; he was also befriended by 
the Etruscans of Caere, who had revolted against their bar- 
barous chief Mezentius, "the despiser of the Gods." The Tro- 

* Lat. pietas, a feeling of reverence and love towards parents and gods, 
f Some spell the word Aberrigines, as if from aberro to wander away. 

Chap. I ROMULUS. 17 

jans prevailed, and Turnus fell. But three years after a new war 
arose ;* and iEneas disappeared amid the waters of the Numi- 
cius, a 1 small river between Lavinium and Ardea. It was said 
that the Gods had taken him, and a temple was raised to him 
on the spot, in which he was worshipped under the name of 
Jupiter Indiges, or the " God of the country." f 

§ 3. Ascanius, who was also called lulus, from the youthful 
down (tovXos) upon his cheeks, was warned by signs from 
Heaven that Lavinium was not to be the abiding place of the 
new people. After thirty years, therefore, as foretokened by the 
sign of the thirty young swine, he removed to the ridge of a hill 
about fifteen miles to the south-east of Rome, and here he built a 
new city, which was afterwards famous under the name of Alba 
Longa, or " the Long White City."J In time this city became 
the capital of Latium, and all the Latin tribes came up to 
worship at the Temple of Jupiter Latiaris on the top of the 
Alban Mount. Their chiefs also used to meet for the discussion 
of matters of state in the sacred grove by the spring of Feren- 
tina on the side of the same mount. 

Ascanius was succeeded by a son of iEneas and Lavinia, 
named Silvius,|| and the eleven Kings of Alba who succeeded all 
bore the surname of Silvius. 

§ 4. The last of these Kings, named Procas, left two sons, 
Numitor and Amulius. Amulius, the younger, seized the 
inheritance of his elder brother Numitor, who coveted not the 
crown. But he had a son and a daughter, who might hereafter 
be troublesome to the usurper. The son was put to death by 
Amulius ; the daughter, Rea Silvia by name,^f was dedicated to 
the service of Vesta, which compelled her to live and die un- 

* " Bellum ingens geret Italia, populosque feroces 
Contundet, moresque viris et m.oenia ponet, 
Tertia dum Latio regnantem viderit aestas, 
Ternaque transierint Kutulis hiberna subactis." — Virg,, Aen. i. 263. 

•f Hence Virgil (Aen. vii. 242) speaks of vada sacra Numici, although he 
ends his poem with the death of Turnus. 

X " At puer Ascanius, cui nunc cognomen Iiilo, 
Trlginta magnos volvendis mensibus orbes 
Imperio explebit, regnumque ab sede Lavini 
Transferet, et Longam multa vi muniet Albam." — Virg., Aen. i. 271. 

Ij " Primus ad auras 

jEtherias Italo commixtus sanguine surgit 

Silvius, Albanum nomen, tua postuma proles." — Aen. vi. 761. 

^f Commonly confounded with Ilia. But Ilia was daughter of /Eneas ; and 
here is a double legend, — one in which the vestal priestess was sister of I airs, 
one in whicli she was twelve generations in descent from him. 


wedded. But destiny is stronger than the will of man. The 
sacred Virgin of Vesta was found to be with child by the god 
Mars, and she bore two boys at a birth. The punishment of a 
vestal virgin for incontinence wa3 dreadful : the law ordained 
that she should be buried alive. Amulius spared not his niece. 
The Twins he ordered to be thrown into the Tiber. It chanced 
that at that time the river had overflowed his banks, and spreaxl 
shallow pools over the ground afterwards famous as the Roman 
Forum. The shoal water shrank before the fated founder of 
Home, and the Twins were left on dry ground near a wild fig- 
tree, which was long preserved with careful reverence under the 
name of the Ficus Ruminalis. Here they grew to boyhood, being 
suckled by a wolf and fed by the care of a woodpecker, creatures 
held sacred among the Latins.* Thus marvellously preserved, 
they were found by Faustulus, the herdsman of Amulius, who 
took them home to his wife Acca Laurentia. So the Twins grew 
up with the herdsman's children in his cot upon the Palatine, 
and were known by the names of Romulus and Remus. 

§ 5. The Twins were distinguished among the young shepherds 
by their nobler form and bolder spirit. It chanced that the 
herdsmen of Amulius, who dwelt on the Palatine Hill, were at 
feud with the herdsmen of Numitor, who fed their flocks upon 
the Aventine. The latter took Remus prisoner by an ambush, 
and brought him before Numitor, their master, who admired the 
stately figure of the youth, and recognised in his features that 
which called back to his mind the memory of his unhappy 
daughter. Soon after Romulus came up to ransom his brother, 
and his appearance confirmed Numitor in his suspicions. The 
accounts given of them by their foster-father Faustulus revealed 
to the youths their true descent. With prompt energy they 
attacked Amulius in his palace at Alba and slew him there. 
Numitor, their good grandsire, was restored to the throne of the 
Silvii, his fathers. 

§ 6. Three hundred years had now passed since the foundation 
of Alba ; and the Twins, led by omens and auguries, determined 
to quit the city of Ascanius and build a new town on the bank 
of the Tiber, where they had been bred.f Now as they knew 

* iC Lacte quis Infantes nescit crevisse Ferino, 

Et Picum expositis saepe tulisse cibum ?" 

Ovid. Fasti, iii. 54. — Picus (the Woodpecker) was a Latin god, being father 
of Turnus, and grandsire of Latinus, Virg., Am. vii. 45-49. 

t " Hie jam tercentum totos regnabitur annos 

Genie sub Hectorea, donee regina sacerdos 
Marte gravis geminam parta dabit Ilia prolem. Xnde 

Chap. I. ROMULUS. 19 

not which of the two was the elder, a dispute arose with 
respect to the place and name of the projected city. Bomulus 
wished to build upon the Palatine, Remus on the Aventine. To 
settle this question, they resolved to appeal to the gods. They 
were to watch, each on their chosen hill, from sunrise to sunset, 
and from sunset again to sunrise, and whoever was favoured by 
an ominous flight of birds was to be the founder. Eemus first 
saw six vultures on his left. But at the moment that his mes- 
senger announced this success to Komulus, there appeared to 
Romulus a flight of twelve. Which, then, had the advantage, — 
Remus who saw first, or Romulus who saw most ? The quarrel 
was renewed, and in the fray Remus was slain by a chance blow. 
Another legend says that Romulus began to build the city on 
the Palatine, when Remus scornfully leapt over the narrow 
trench, and Romulus in wrath slew him. Another attributes 
the fatal act not to the brother, but to Celer, the friend of 
Romulus. And lastly, according to another legend still, there 
were two cities, — Rome, built by Romulus on the Palatine, and 
Remuria by Remus, not on the Aventine, but on a hill three 
miles south of Rome.* 

§ 7. Young Romulus was now left alone to build his city on 
the Palatine. He carried a wall along the edge of the hill all 
round, leaving a space inside and outside the walls clear of all 
buildings. This space was accounted holy ground, and was called 
the Pomoerium ; and the beginning of the great city of the Tiber 
was called Roma Quadrata, or Square Rome, to distinguish it 
from that which inclosed all the seven hills within the circuit of 
its walls. 

The common date for the foundation of Rome is 753 before 
the Christian era.t 

§ 8. The walls were built and the city ready, but men were 
wanting to people it. To supply this want Romulus set apart 
a place as a sanctuary or refuge for those who had shed blood, 
for slaves who had run away from their masters, and the like, 

Inde lupae fulvo nutricis tegmine laetus 

Romulus excipiet gentem, et Mavortia condet 

Moenia, Romanosque suo de nomine dicet." — ViRG., Aen. i. 272. 

iEneas therefore reigned 3 years ; Ascanius 3 X 10 = 30 ; the Silvii 
3 X 100 = 300. See above, §§ 2 and 3. The number 3 was also the number 
which guided Romulus in framing his institutions. See below, note on Chapt. 
Hi. § 3. 

* It will be observed that these Legends are ignorant of the Legend of 
Evander's city upon the Palatine, which is adopted by Virgil. 

f This is the date of Varro, followed by most authors. Cafco placed it 
332 years after the fall of Troy, i.e. in 752 B:c. Polybius in 750 B.C. 


Hence the city of Eomulus was called by the Greek name of the 

But though by this means men were supplied in plenty, they 
lacked wives, and the neighbouring cities held them unworthy to 
receive their daughters in marriage. Eomulus therefore deter- 
mined to compass by foul means what he could not obtain by 
fair. He invited the people of the Sabines and neighbouring 
Latin towns to witness the Consualia, or games to be celebrated 
in honour of the god Consus ; and when they were intent upon 
the show, a number of Eoman youths rushed in and seized all 
the* marriageable maidens on whom they could lay hands. This 
was the famous Eape of the Sabine Women. 

§ 9. The kindness of their Eoman husbands soon reconciled 
the women, thus strangely wedded, to their lot : but their 
parents and kinsfolk took up arms to avenge the insult they had 
received. First came the men of Csenina, Crustumerium, and 
Antemnae; but Eomulus defeated them all, and slew Acron, 
chief of the men of Caenina, in single combat, and offered up his 
arms as a trophy to Jupiter Feretrius. Trophies thus won by 
the leader of one army from the leader of another were called 
spolia opima, and were only gained on two other occasions in the 
whole course of Eoman history. 

The war with the Sabines of Cures was more serious. They 
came with a large force under their chief, Titus Tatius by name, 
and advanced to the foot of what was then called the Saturnian 
Hill, the same that afterwards became famous under the name 
of the Capitoline. On the southern portion of this hill Romulus 
had made a citadel, which he committed to the care of his 
faithful follower Tarpeius. But Tarpeius had a daughter, the 
fair Tarpeia, less faithful than her sire, and she promised to 
admit the Sabines into the citadel " if they would give her what 
they wore upon their left arms," by which she meant their golden 
armlets. She opened the gates ; but the Sabine soldiers threw 
upon her the heavy shields which they also "wore upon their 
left arms," and she was crushed to death, — a meet reward for 

The Eomans and Sabines now lay over against each other, the 
former on the Palatine, the latter on the Saturnian Hill, with a 
swampy valley between them, the same in which the Twins had 
been cast ashore, the same which afterwards became so famous 
as the Forurn. Here they fought day by day. Once the Sabines 
had forced their way up to the very Pomoerium of the Palatine, 

* Hence, it is said, the southern portion of the hill received the name of the 
Tarpeian Rock. 

Chap. I. ROMULUS. 21 

when, behold ! the gates burst open, and the god Janus poured 
forth a flood of water, and swept away the foe. 

Another time, Mettus Curtius, a brave Sabine, forced his horse 
through the swamp and pressed the Eomans hard. Romulus 
invoked the aid of Jupiter Stator, or the Stayer of Flight, and 
rallied his Romans. Still the battle raged fiercely, when the 
Sabine women, who were the cause of the war, rushed down from 
the Palatine with dishevelled hair and threw themselves between 
their Roman husbands and their Sabine kinsmen. Then a peace 
was made ; and in memory of the service done by the Sabine 
matrons, a festival called the Matronalia was celebrated on the 
Calends of March, at that time the first day of the new year.* 

§ 10. By the peace then made it was agreed that the people 
of Rome and Cures should form one community. Romulus and 
his Romans were to continue in possession of the Palatine Hill, 
while Titus and his Sabines were to occupy the QuirinaLf The 
Saturnian was left in possession of the Sabines. The two Kings 
were to retain joint authority, and to debate on matters con- 
cerning the whole community : the Burgesses of both nations 
were to assemble at the N.W. corner of the valley which after- 
wards became the Forum, whence this place was called the 
Comitium or Meeting-place. Moreover it is to be noted that 
Romulus assumed the Sabine name of Quirinus,t and all the 
Burgesses or Citizens were called by the Sabine title of Quirites 
or Men of the Spear, || facts which plainly proved that in the 
union the Sabines had the lion's share of the spoil. 

§ 11. At this time the Etruscans were powerful by land and 
sea. They had, as the legend relates, taken part in the wars be- 
tween iEneas and the Rutulians ; and another legend mentions 
that Caeles Vibenna, one of their chiefs, had settled on the hill 
which lies to the south-east of the Palatine, and that from him 
this hill received the name of Caelian. This Cseles is said to 
have assisted Romulus in his war against the Sabines, and when 

* Therefore Horace amuses himself with the wonder which his friends 
would feel at seeing him, a bachelor, preparing for festivities on the day of the 
matron's feast : — 

" Martiis caelebs quid agam Kalendis," &c. — Od. iii. 8, 1. 

f " Hunc igitur .... veteres donarunt sede Sabini, 

Inque Quirinali constituere jugo." — Ovid, Fasti, vi. 217. 

X " narravit Tatium fortemque Quirinum, 

Binaque cum populis regna coisse suis." — Ibid. 93. 

|| From Quiris, Sabine for a spear. Others derived these names from the 
town of Cures. Ovid (Fasti, ii. 475) notes both derivations : — 
" Sive quod hasta Quiris priscis est dicta Sabinis, 
Seu quia Romanis junxerat ille Cures/ 9 


peace was made, his followers were allowed to become members 
of the new community. Thus four of the seven hills were com- 
bined into one city, the Palatine, Quirinal, and Caelian, with the 
Saturnian for the Citadel. 

§ 12. Not long after the union, Titus Tatius, the Sabine king, 
was killed by the Latins, while sacrificing at Lavinium, in revenge 
for certain injuries which they had received from some of his Sa- 
bine compatriots. Romulus now resumed the sole sovereignty, 
and ruled without a colleague. He is said to have reigned in all 
seven and thirty years, when he came to a sudden and unex- 
pected end. It chanced, says the Legend, that he was reviewing 
his army on the Field of Mars by the Goat's Pool, w T hen there 
arose a fearful storm, and the darkness was so thick that no man 
could see his neighbour. When it cleared off, the king had 
disappeared. But it was revealed that he had been carried 
away in the chariot of his father Mars ; * and shortly after one 
Julius Proculus related that, as he was returning from Alba, Ro- 
mulus the King had appeared to him in celestial form, and told 
him that hereafter the people of Rome were to regard him as 
their guardian god jointly with Mars, and were to worship him 
by his Sabine name of Quirinus. 

But in later days this legend seemed too- marvellous, and a 
new one was. adopted. It was said that the chief men — the 
Sabine nobles we may presume — had murdered him in the con- 
fusion of the storm, had carried away his body piecemeal under 
their gowns, and then had invented the miraculous story to 
conceal their crime. 

§ 13. To Romulus are attributed all the early institutions of 
Rome, Social, Political, and Military. 

(1.) To begin with the Social regulations. The whole popula- 
tion were divided into two classes, the Burgesses or citizens on 
the one hand, and on the other their Clients or dependents. 
The Burgesses were called Patrons in relation to their Clients. 
These Patrons were expected, by law or custom, to defend their 
Clients from all wrong or oppression on the part of others, while 
the Clients were bound to render certain services to • their 
Patrons ; so that the relation of Patron and Client resembled 
that of Lord and Vassal in the feudal times, or that of Chief and 
Clansman in the highlands of Scotland. The Burgesses engrossed 
all political rights, and they alone made up what was at this time 
the Populus Romanus or Body Politic of Rome. The Clients 
were at the mercy of their Patrons, and had as yet no place in 
the State. 

* " Quirinus 

Martis equis Acheronta fugit." — Horat., Od. 

Chap. 1. ROMULUS. 23 

(2.) By the Political institutions of Romulus the Burgesses or 
Patrons were formed into three Tribes,* — the Ramnes or Romans 
of Romulus, the Tities or Sabines of Titus, the Luceres or Etrus- 
cans of Cseles, who was a Lucumo or nobleman in his own 
Etruscan city. Then Bomulus subdivided each Tribe into ten 
Curise, and each Curia had a chief officer called its Curio, In all, 
therefore, there were thirty Curiae, and they received names after 
thirty of the Sabine women who had brought about the union of 
the nations. The Burgesses used to meet according to their 
Curiae in the Comitium to vote on all matters of state, which the 
King was bound to lay before them, and their assembly was 
called the Comitia Curiata, or Assembly of the Curies, and 
every matter was decided by the majority of Curiae that voted 
for or against it. No law could be made except with their con- 
sent. Nor was the sovereign power of the king considered legally 
established till it had been conferred by a curiate law. By the 
sovereign power (Imperium) so conferred the King held chief 
command in war, and was supreme judge in all matters of life 
and death, and in token thereof he was attended by twelve lictors 
bearing bundles of rods with sharp axes projecting from the 
middle of them (fasces). 

Besides this large Assembly, in which all Burgesses were enti- 
tled to vote, each in his own curia, there was a select body for 
advising the King, called the Senate or Council of Elders. This 
consisted at first of 100 members ; but when the Sabines were 
joined to the Romans, 100 more were added, so that the whole 
number consisted of 200, being 10 from each of the 20 Ramnian 
and Titian Curies : for the Luceres or third Tribe, though they 
also had 10 Curiae, were not as yet allowed to send any members 
to the Senate. 

(3.) Fc>r Military purposes each Tribe was ordered to furnish 
1000 men on foot and 100 on horseback, so that the army of 
the united Burgesses consisted of 3000 foot and 300 horse, and 
was called by the name of Legion. The 300 horsemen were the 
noblest young men of the military age, and also served as a 
body-guard to the king. The horsemen of each Tribe were called 
a Century, and the three Centuries were known by the same 
name as their Tribes — Ramnes, Tities, and Luceres. The whole 
squadron was called by the joint name of Celeres, and the Cap- 
tain of the Celeres (afterwards identified with the Magister 
Equitum) bore the first rank in the state after the King. 

§ 14. Romulus had left the earth, and there was no King at 
Rome. The Senators took the government into their own hands. 

* The word tribus itself originally meant a third part. See § 6, Note. 
Compare the English words Riding {Trithing) and" Quarter. 


For this purpose the whole Senate was divided into tens ; each 
ten was called a Decuria, and the chief of each Decuria a Decu- 
rion. Every Decurion with his nine compeers held the sovereign 
power for five days. The Decurions therefore were called Inter- 
reges or Between-kings, and the time during which they ruled 
was an Interregnum. 

When this state of things had continued for a year, the Bur- 
gesses* imperiously demanded that they should have a King. The 
Senate yielded, and a Sabine named Numa Pompilius was chosen, 
known as a just and holy man, famous for his wisdom in all mat- 
ters of right and religion. He was elected by the Curies in their 
assembly, and himself proposed the law whereby he was invested 
with sovereign power. His peaceful reign lasted for nine-and- 
thirty years, after which he was buried with the books of his 
laws on Mount Janiculum. 

§ 15. As Romulus the Roman was held to be the framer of all 
regulations Social, Political, and Military, so Numa the Sabine 
is the reputed author of all the Religious and Ecclesiastical 
institutions of Rome. 

According to the Legend, he was instructed in all these things 
by Egeria, a Muse or (as the Latins called her) a Camena. To 
her sacred grove he was admitted, and even became her spouse. 
By her counsel he surprised the gods Picus and Faunus in their 
retreat under the Aventine, and kept them in duress till they 
had taught him how to draw forth Jupiter, the Father of the 
Gods, from heaven. Jupiter appeared in the form of lightning, 
and promised him a public sign of his favour. Accordingly, 
next day, in the presence of the assembled Burgesses, the ancile 
or sacred shield of Mars Gradivus, the father of Quirinus, fell 
from heaven amid lightning and thunder. To prevent this pre- 
cious gift from being stolen, Numa ordered eleven others to be 
made of exactly the same substance, size, and shape, so that no 
man might know which was the true ancile : and to take charge 
of these shields, twelve Salii, or dancing priests of Mars, were 
appointed, who also officiated at the public thanksgivings which 
in after times the Romans used to offer after great victories.* 

Further, for the regulation of the worship of the gods, and to 
decide all questions of religion, he created four Pontiffs, with a 

* Hence Horace (Od. i. 38), on receiving the news of the victory of 
Augustus at Actium, breaks out : — 

" Nunc est bibendum, nunc pedelibero 
Pulsanda tellus ; nunc Saliaribus 
Ornare pulvinar Deorum * 

Tempus erat dapibus, sodales." 

Such thanksgivings were called supplicationes. 

Chap. I. NUMA. 25 

superior named the Pontifex Maximus. These acted as a kind 
of ecclesiastical council ; and the offices were usually held by the 
most distinguished men at Rome, for there were no clergy op 
class set apart for religious purposes. For the special service of 
the two guardian gods of Rome, Mars Gradivus and Quirinus, 
he appointed two Flameni, called respectively the Flamens of 
Gradivus and Quirinus. With these was associated a third, 
devoted to the service of supreme Jupiter, who bore the name 
of the Flamen Dialis. 

To consult the will of the gods by auguries and divinations he 
created four Augurs. And to keep alive the sacred fire of Vesta, 
which had been brought from the shrine of the goddess at Alba, 
the mother city of Rome, he ordained that there should be four 
Vestal Virgins. In honour of Vesta he built a temple on the 
north side of the Palatine, abutting on the Forum, and adjoining 
it a dwelling for the vestals. His own palace also, the Regia, he 
placed next to the temple of the goddess. 

To distinguish time of war from time of peace, he is said to 
have built a temple to the god Janus, or the Double God, whose 
two faces looked different ways.* During the whole of his reign 
the door of the temple was closed in sign of peace ; but from his 
time to the time of the Emperor Augustus it remained open in 
sign of war, except for a brief period after the first Punic War. 

§ 16. Yet Numa willed not that the Romans should offer costly 
sacrifices to the gods, but ordained that they should present 
corn and the fruits of the earth, and not any living thing ; for he 
was a lover of husbandry, and was anxious that this peaceful art 
should flourish. Therefore he took pains to secure each man in 
possession of his land, and fixed the bounds of each farm by 
landmarks or termini, which it was sacrilege to remove, for they 
were under the protection of the god Terminus ; and in honour 
of this god he established the yearly festival of the Terminalia. 
Moreover he distributed all the lands of Rome into pagi or dis- 
tricts, and ordered the memory of this act to be kept alive by 
the feast of the Paganalia.f 

§ 17. Numa is also said to have divided the people into guilds 
or companies, according to their trades and professions. He 
built a temple to Good Faith ; he determined the dies fasti and 
nefasti, or common days and holidays ; and lastly, he is said to 
have added to the year of Romulus (which consisted of 10 
months only, some of them but 20 days long) the months of 

* His name Janus {i.e. Djanus), corresponding to the feminine Diana 
(Djana), is derived from the root dis (S<V) or bis, implying double. 

f The city land was divided into vici or wards, with a corresponding 
festival called Compitalia. 



January and February, and to have ordained that the year should 
consist of twelve lunar months and one day over, or in all of 
355 days.* 

* The Romans continued to reckon by the Lunar year, till it was super- 
seded by a new Cabndar introduced, probably, in the second Decemvirate. In 
this Calendar the length of the year was left unaltered. It still consisted of 
354, or rather 355, days, which were distributed into 12 months. But to 
bring it into agreement with the Solar year of 3(35| days, a month called 
Mercedonius was intercalated every other year after the 23rd of February. 
This month consisted of 22 and 23 days alternately, so that if it had been 
added regularly, the year would have contained on the average 366^ days. 
But the business of intercalation was left to the Pontiffs, who executed it in a 
very arbitrary and uncertain manner. When, therefore, we hear cf events 
taking place in any Roman month, it seldom happens that this month coin- 
cides with our own month of tne same name ; and this makes it extremely 
difficult to decide the exact time, of most events in Roman History before the 
Juliau era. See below eh. Ixiii. § 20* 

Lake of Alba. 




§ 1. Increase of Rome in next two reigns. § 2. Choice of Tullus Hostilius. 
§ 3. War with Alba. Legend of Horatii and Curia.tii. § 4. War with 
Etruscans. Punishment of Mettus FufTetius. § 5. Forced migration of 
Albans to Rome. § 6. War with Sabines. § 7. Curia Hostilia. § 8. 
Death of Tullus. § 9, 10. Election of AnCUS MartiuS: his institutions. 
§ 11. Subjugation of Southern Latium : increase of Roman citizens. § 12. 
Pons Sublicius : Janiculum : Ostia. §13. Death of Ancus. 

§ 1. From the reigns of Romulus and Numa, the reputed foun- 
ders of Rome and all her early institutions, we pass to those of 
two Kings, also a Roman and a Sabine, who swelled the numbers 
of the Roman people by the addition of large bodies of Latins, 
many of whom were transferred from their own cities by force 
or persuasion. These Kings prepared the way for the more ex- 
tensive political changes attributed to their successors. 

§ 2. An Interregnum again ensued after the death of Numa, 

c 2 


But in no long time the Burgesses met, and chose to be their 
king Tullus Hostilius, a Roman, whose grandsire had been a 
captain in the army of Romulus. His reign of two-and-thirty 
years was as bloody and warlike as that of Numa had been calm 
and peaceful. The acts attributed to him are, first, the esta- 
blishment of the Latins of Alba in Rome, and secondly, the crea- 
tion of judges to try matters of life and death in place of the 
king, called Qusestores Parricidii. The famous Legends which 
follow give the reasons for both these changes. 

§ 3. The chief war of Tullus was against the Albans. It broke 
out thus. The lands of Rome and Alba marched together, that 
is, they bordered one upon the other, and the borderers of both 
nations had frequent quarrels and plundered one another. King 
Tullus took up the cause of his people, and demanded restitu- 
tion of the booty taken by the Albans from Cluilius, the Dictator 
of Alba, who replied that his people had suffered to the full as 
much from the Romans as they of Rome from the Albans. 
Since, then, neither party would make satisfaction, war was 
declared. Cluilius first led out his army and encamped within 
five miles of Rome, at a place afterwards called the Fossa Cluilia, 
where he died, and the Albans chose Mettus Fuffetius to be 
Dictator in his stead. Meanwhile Tullus, on his part, had 
marched into the territory of the Albans, and Mettus returned 
to give him battle. But when the two armies were drawn up 
ready to fight, Mettus proposed that the quarrel should be de- 
cided by the combat of champions chosen from each army, and 
Tullus agreed to the proposal. Now r it chanced that there w T ere 
three brothers in each army, equal in age, strength, and valour. 
Horatii was the name of the three Roman brethren, Curiatii of 
the Alban.* These were chosen to be the champions, and an 
agreement was made, with solemn rites, that victory should be 
adjudged to that people whose champions should conquer in the 
strife. Then the two armies sate down opposite one another as 
spectators of the combat, but not like common spectators, for 
each man felt that the question at issue was whether Rome was 
to be mistress of Alba or Alba of Rome. Long and bravely 
fought the champions. At length all the Curiatii were grie- 
vously wounded ; but of the Horatii two lay dead upon the 
plain, while the third was yet untouched. So the surviving Ho- 
ratius, seeing that, single-handed, he could not prevail, pretended 
to flee before his three opponents. They pursued him, each as 
he was able ; the most vigorous was foremost; he that had lost 
most blood lagged behind. And when Horatius saw that they 

* la another form of the legend, the names are reversed. 


were far separate one from another, he turned about and smote 
the first pursuer ; so likewise the second ; and lastly he slew the 
third, Then the Romans were adjudged victorious. 

But a sad event followed to damp their joy. Horatius was 
returning home with the spoils of the slaughtered three borne 
in triumph before him, when, outside the Capuan gate,* he met 
his sister. Alas ! she had been betrothed to one of the Alban 
brethren, and now she beheld his bloody vestments adorning the 
triumph of her brother, and she Wept aloud before all the army. 
But when Horatius saw this, he was so angered that he took his 
sword and stabbed her where she stood. 

Now all, both Senate and People, were shocked at this un- 
natural deed ; and though they owed so much to Horatius, they 
ordered him to be tried before two Judges appointed by the 
King. These Judges found Horatius guilty, and condemned him 
to be "hanged with a rope," according to the law ; nor had they 
power to lighten his punishment. But Horatius appealed to the 
People, and they pardoned him, because he had fought so well for 
them, and because old Horatius, the father, entreated for him, 
and said that his daughter had been rightly slain, and that he 
would himself have slain her, as he had a right to do, because he 
was her father ; for by the old Roman law the father had this 
terrible power over his children. But to atone for the bloodshed, 
the father w r as ordered to make certain sacrifices at the public 
expense ; and the heads of the Horatian Gens continued to offer 
these sacrifices ever afterwards. 

§ 4. Thus it was that the Albans became subjects of King 
Tullus, and they were bound to assist him in war against his 
enemies ; and he soon called upon them to follow him against 
the Etruscans of Veii and Fidenae. So Mettus Fuffetius came 
to his aid with a brave army ; but in the battle Mettus stood 
aloof upon a hill with his army, waiting to see which party 
should prevail. The Romans were so hard pressed that the 
king, to stay the alarm, vowed temples in case of victory to 
Paleness and Panic-fear (Pallor et Pavor). At length the battle 
was won, and then the Alban Dictator came down and pretended 
to be on their side. Tullus took no notice of his conduct, but 
summoned all the Albans to consult on public affairs. So they 
came, as to a peaceful assembly, with no arms in their hands 
when suddenly the Roman legion closed around them, and they 
could neither fight nor flee. Then Tullus rebuked the Albans 
but said that he would punish only their chief, for that he was 
the most guilty. And he took Mettus and bound him by the 

* It may be noted that there was no Capuan Gate (Porta Capena) till after 
the tuilding of the walls of Servius Tullius, 


arms and legs to two four-horsed chariots : and the chariots, 
being drawn different ways, tore the unhappy wretch asunder. 

§ 5. Then Tullus gave orders that the city of Alba should be 
dismantled, and that all its burgesses with their clients should 
migrate to Rome. It was sad to leave their fathers' homes and 
the temples of their fathers' gods. Yet was their new abode no 
strange city. Had not Rome been founded by Alban princes ? 
and did not the Quirites keep up the eternal fire of Vesta and 
worship the Latin Jupiter ? Nor did Tullus treat them as 
enemies, but gave them the Ctelian Hill for their quarter ; and 
he built a palace for himself on the same hill and dwelt in the 
midst of them : he also made the heads of the chief Alban 
families burgesses of Rome, and placed some of their chief men 
in the Senate. 

§ 6. After this he also made war against the Sabines; and in 
fulfilment of a vow which he made in the stress of battle, he 
established the games of the Saturnalia and Opalia in honour of 
the Latin god Saturnus and the goddess Ops. 

§ 7. To Tullus Hostilius likewise is attributed the building of 
the Senate-house, called from him the Curia Hostilia. It stood 
on the edge of the Comitium facing the Palatine ; and in a build- 
ing erected on the same spot, and bearing the same name, the 
Senate continued to hold their ordinary meetings till the days of 
Julius Cs6sar. 

§ 8. But amid his triumphs and successes Tullus rendered not 
meet reverence to the gods. The people of Rome were smitten 
by a plague, and the King himself fell ill of a lingering disease. 
Then he bethought him to seek counsel of Jupiter, after the 
manner of King Numa. But when he took his station upon the 
Aventine, and endeavoured to draw forth the father of the gods 
from heaven, lightnings descended, as to Numa, but with de- 
stroying force, so that he himself was smitten and his house 
burnt down. His reign had lasted two-and-thirty years. 

§ 9. After a short interregnum, the Burgesses chose Angus 
Martius to be King, a Sabine noble, son of a daughter of King 
Numa. His reputation was worthy of his descent ; and his first 
act was to order the laws of his venerated grandsire to be written, 
out fair on a white board and set up for all to read in the Forum. 
He also made a prison for criminals in the rock beneath that 
side of the Saturnian Hill which overhangs the Forum, — the 
same which was afterwards enlarged by King Servius Tullius, 
and called after him the Tullianum. 

§ 10. Ancus was a lover of peace ; but he did not shrink from 
war, when war was necessary to protect . the honour of the. 


Roman name. But even in matters of war he showed that reve- 
rence for law and order, which was his ruling characteristic. 
For he created a college of sacred Heralds, called Fetiales, whose 
business it was to demand reparation for injuries in a regular 
and formal manner, and in case of refusal to declare war by 
hurling a spear into the enemy's land. 

§ 11. His chief wars were with the Latin cities of the neigh- 
bourhood. He took Politorium, and destroyed it ; and reduced 
to subjection all the Latin shore, or that part of Latium which 
lies between Rome and the sea. The heads of families in these 
Latin cities, after the example set by Tullus Hostilius, were 
made Roman citizens : and to such as chose to settle in Rome 
Ancus assigned Mount Aventine for a dwelling-place, so that 
thus a fifth hill was added to the other four. In this way the 
city of Rome was greatly increased, and large numbers added to 
its citizens ; while by the wars of Tullus and Ancus the power cf 
the Latins was proportionably diminished. 

But the Latins whom Ancus made citizens of Rome, were not, 
like the Albans in the time of Tullus, put on an equality wilh 
the old Burgesses. Most of them continued to reside in their 
own small cities, subject to Roman authority. They formed' a 
new element in the state — being neither Patrons nor Clients — 
of which we shall speak more at length in our account of Tar - 
quinius Priscus. It is probably this encouragement of a free 
people, who were not bound by the ties of Clientship to any 
Patron, that leads Virgil to speak of Ancus as "too much 
rejoicing in popular favour." * 

§ 12. Other works of utility are attributed to Ancus Martins. 
He is said to have made the first bridge over the Tiber. It was 
built of wooden piles (sublicse), and hence was called the Pons 
Sublicius. In order to prevent it being broken down by the 
Etruscans who lived on the other side of the Tiber, he fortified 
Janiculum, where his grandsire Numa lay buried. He also built 
the town of Ostia at the mouth of the -river, which long con- 
tinued to be the principal haven of the Roman people. 

§ 13. He died in peace after a prosperous reign of four- arid- 
twenty years. 

* • " Quern juxta sequitur jactantior Ancus. 

Nunc quoque jam nimium gaudens popularibus aims." 

Virg., Aen. vi. 816. 

Cloaca Maxima. 
From a Sketch by Sir Gardner Wilkinson. 




§ 1. Sons of Ancus set aside. § 2. Early history of Tarquinius Priscus. 
§ 3. How he came to be chosen King. § 4. Addition to numbers of Senate. 
§ 5. Social state before reforms of Tarquin. Patricians or Patrons, Clients, 
Plebeians. § 6. Origin of Plebs. § 7. Tarquin's plan of reform. § 8. 
Opposition of Patricians. Legend of Attus Navius. § 9. Plan modified. 
Augmentation of Patrician Gentes and of Knights. § 10. Wars of Tarquin. 
§ 11. Public works: Cloaca Maxima, etc. § 12. Legend of death of 
Tarquin. § 13. Servius ^Tullicjs. § 14. Wish to give political power 
to all Plebeians. § 15. Plan of reform. Comitia Centuriata. § 16. 
Census. Preponderating influence of property. § 17. Plebs made part of 
Populus, or Body Politic. § 18. Roman territory divided into Tribes. 
§ 19. Four of City. § 20. Sixteen of Country. § 21. Only Plebeians 
originally members of Tribes. § 22. Assembly of Curiae finally superseded 
by that of Tribes. § 23. Walls of Rome built by Servius. § 24. Alliance 
with Latins. § 25. Legend of death of Servius. 

§ 1. The first trace of hereditary succession in the Roman 
monarchy appears with Ancus, He was grandson to Numa, and 


according to one legend conspired to take away the life of his 
predecessor Tullus. But the legends, after the death of Ancus, 
all make the notion of hereditary right an essential element in 
the succession. Ancus had left two sons, as yet boys. But 
when they grew up, and found the throne occupied by a stranger, 
they took measures for asserting their right. It is of this stranger 
that we must now speak. He is known to all by the name of 
Tarquinius Priscus. 

§ 2. Tarquinius had been a citizen of Tarquinii, a city of 
Etruria. But it was said that his father was a Greek nobleman 
of Corinth, Demaratus by name, who had fled from his native 
land, because the power had fallen into the hands of a tyrannical 
oligarchy. The son had become a Lucumo or chief at Tarquinii, 
had gained great wealth, and married a noble Etruscan lady, 
Tanaquil by name. Both himself and his wife were eager for 
power and honour ; and, as they could not satisfy their desires 
at home, they determined to try their fortune in the new city 
on the Tiber, where their countryman Cseles Vibenna and his 
followers had already settled. Therefore they set out for Rome ; 
and when they had reached the Mount Janiculum, in full view of 
the city, an eagle came down with gentle swoop and took the 
cap from off the head of Tarquin, and then, wheeling round him, 
replaced it. His wife Tanaquil, skilled in augury, like all the 
Etruscans, interpreted this to be an omen of good. " The 
eagle," she said, " was a messenger from heaven ; it had restored 
the cap as a gift of the gods ; her husband would surely rise to 
honour and power." Thus it was that he came to settle in 
Rome, probably among his countrymen on the Caelian Hill. He 
took the Latin name of Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, and by his 
riches and his cleverness and goodwill he gained the favour of 
King Ancus, and was made guardian of his children. 

But he used the power so gotten in his own favour ; and the 
people chose him to be their king. 

§ 3. It needs some explanation to show how Tarquin, being 
an Etruscan stranger, came to be chosen king of Eome : for in 
all likelihood he belonged to the Tribe of the Luceres ; and this 
Tribe had hitherto been held subordinate. The Ramnians of the 
Palatine and Titians of the Quirinal had kept power in their own 
hands ; and the Kings had been chosen by turns from these two 
Tribes. Romulus and Tullus were Ramnians ; Numa and Ancus 
were Titians. Also, Romulus had chosen only 200 elders into 
the Senate ; of whom 100 were first chosen from the Romans or 
Ramnians of the Palatine, and 100 afterwards from the Sabines 
or Titians of the Quirinal ; and there were no Lucerians in the 
Senate, except perhaps some few that King Tullus had added 

c 3 


from the Alban families, which he settled on the Caelian Hill. 
Moreover, Numa did not admit the Burgesses of the Lucerian 
Tribe into the sacred offices which he made. For, under the 
Chief Pontifex, there were but four other Pontifices, two for the 
Ramnians and two for the Titians. So, under the Chief Flam en 
of Jove, there were but two Flamens, one belonging to the 
Roman or Ramnian god Mars, the other to him who had become 
a god by the Sabine name of Quirinus. Likewise, he had made 
but four Augurs, and four Vestal Virgins; two for the Ram- 
nians, and two for the Titians ; and Tullus Hostilius had ap- 
pointed but two Judges to represent him in deciding cases of 
life and death. There were also two Colleges of the Salii or 
Priests of Mars, and two of the Luperci or Priests of Lupercus 
(Pan). The Luceres, therefore, were held in small account ; and 
no doubt in the Comitia Curiata they were always outvoted by 
the other two Tribes ; for they had but 10 Curiae to the 20 of 
thb other two. 

But of late the Luceres had been waxing in power. The 
Albans had been added to their ranks ; and no doubt this addi- 
tion had made them more Latin, more like the other Romans, 
and less like the Etruscans. It might well be, therefore, that 
Tarquin was able by their means to raise himself to the kingly 
power. At all events, we may be sure that the first four Kings 
appear as representatives of the two elder Tribes ; and that the 
last three belonged to the Luceres. 

§ 4. Tarquin soon began to use his power to raise those by 
whom he had risen : for he made the Luceres almost equal in 
dignity to the two old Tribes. First he chose 100 fresh mem- 
bers into the Senate, who (we cannot doubt) were all of the Lu- 
cerian Tribe ; so that now the Senate consisted of 300. Then, 
he increased the number of Vestal Virgins to six ; the two new 
ones being (it is presumed) Lucerian. But the influence of the 
old Tribes in the colleges of Pontifices, Augurs, and Flamens ap- 
pears to have been too strong to allow him to make similar 
alterations here. These remained according to the numbers 
fixed by Numa for a great many years. 

§ 5. Tarquin, however, was not satisfied with simply raising 
his Lucerian friends to an equality with the Burgesses of the old 
Tribes. He designed to make other alterations in the state, 
larger and more important. To explain these we must go back 
to the institutions attributed to Romulus. The whole body of 
the people had been divided (as we saw) into two great classes, 
Patrons and Clients. The Clients or vassals, being wholly de- 
pendent upon their Patrons, had no part in the Body Politic, nor 
had they the right of connubium (as it was called), that is, the 
right of intermarrying with their Patrons, The Patrons alone, 


therefore (we repeat), made up the Populus or Body Politic of 
Rome. These Patrons or Lords also took the name of patres or 
patricii. Fathers or Patricians. In after times the name of Pa- 
tres was confined to the senators, and the descendants of the. old 
patrons or patres were called Patricians. But the Patricians 
were at this time the same as the Burgesses. 

The Patricians were divided into certain private associations, 
called Gentes, which we may translate Houses or Clans. All the 
members of each Gens were called gentiles; and they bore the 
same name, which always ended in ius ; as for instance, every 
member of the Julian gens was a Julius ; every member of the 
Cornelian Gens was a Cornelius, and so on. Now in every Gens 
there were a number of Families, which were distinguished by a 
name added to the name of the Gens. Thus the Scipios, Sullas, 
Cinnas, Cethegi, Lentuli were all Families of the Cornelian Gens. 
Lastly, every person of every Family was denoted by a name 
prefixed to the name of the Gens. The name of the person was, 
in Latin, prcenomen ; that of the Gens or House, nomen ; that of 
the Family, cognomen. Thus Caius Julius Caesar was a person of 
the Caesar Family in the Julian Gens; Lucius Cornelius Scipio 
was a person of the Scipio Family in the Cornelian Gens ; and so 
forth. Their prsenomen, or fore-name, was Caius, Lucius, etc. ; 
their nomen or name Julius, Cornelius, etc. ; their cognomen 
or surname Csesar, Scipio, etc. These Gentes may be com- 
pared to the Scottish Clans> in which there are many Families, as 
in the Clan Campbell there are the great Families of Argyle and 
Breadalbane and others. 

Whether the Gentes were originally connected by blood or 
not, is hard to say. But they were bound together by certain 
private sacred rites called sacra gentilicia, of which we havp seen 
one example in the case of the Horatian Gens. 

The Patrons or Patricians, then, alone belonged to Gentes, and 
these only might intermarry with each other. If a Patrician 
married a Client, their issue could not take the patrician rank, 
or become a member of his parent's house ; because the Clients 
had not the connubium, or right of marriage with their Patrons. 

But as time went on, there arose a third class of freemen at 
Home, who were neither Patrons nor Clients — neither lords over 
vassals, nor vassals dependent upon lords. These were called 
Plebeians, and their general name was Plebs, or the Commonalty. 
They were like the Clients, in that they had no part in th§ 
government, in that they were excluded from the patrician 
houses, and could not intermarry with the Patricians. But they 
were unlike the Clients, in that they were quite free and inde- 
pendent, subject to- no lord, except to the King and the Law. 

§ 6. Now comes the question — How did this Plebs or Com- 


mons come into being ? How came there to be Plebeians in the 
time of Tarquinius Priscus, whereas there were at all events but 
few in the time of Romulus ? 

It is probable that at the first settlement of the city there 
were a number of people previously dwelling about the Seven 
Hills, who were made subject without becoming Clients. These 
were the original Plebeians, that is, free men without political 
rights. Their numbers were afterwards much increased in 
various ways. First, a Patron might marry a Client's daughter, 
or a Client might marry a Patrician lady, and then the children 
would be neither Patricians nor Clients. Again, a Patron might 
die and leave no heirs, and then all his Clients would become 
independent, having no lord. But the third class was mainly 
formed by the addition of Latins, who were not powerful enough 
to gain admittance into the patrician Gentes and Tribes. Tul- 
lus, we remember, brought the Albans to Rome, and admitted 
their chief families into the patrician order. But there were 
many families that were not so admitted. However, the great 
increase of this kind took place when King Ancus peopled the 
Aventine with Latins, a#d conquered all the country between 
Rome and the Sea. All new settlers who did not, like the Albans, 
contribute members to the ranks of the Burgesses, and all the 
burgesses of conquered towns who continued to dwell at home, 
swelled the number of the Plebeians or Commons of Rome. 
And as the great addition is reputed to have taken place in the 
reign of Ancus, he was held to be the father of the Plebs, and is 
(as we have before noted) represented by Virgil as exulting in 
popular applause. But yet he gave them no part in the State ; they 
lived like strangers at Rome, subject to no lord, as the Clients 
were, and yet, like them, without any rights or power as citizens. 

§ 7. Now Tarquinius Priscus saw that, sooner or later, these 
families of the Commons must gain power in the State. Many 
of them were rich : many of them had been noble in the old 
Latin cities from which they had been brought to Rome, or in 
those which had become subject to Rome. Tarquin therefore 
determined to raise a certain number of these plebeian families 
to patrician rank, just as Tullus had raised many of the Alban 
families. He proposed to do this by doubling the number of 
the Patrician Tribes, so that they should be six instead of three. 
The three new Tribes were to be made up of Plebeian Gentes, 
and were to be called after himself and his chief friends. 

§ 8. But the citizens of the two old Patrician Tribes, the Ram- 
nes and Tities, already angry at seeing the Luceres raised nearly 
to an equality with, themselves, opposed this new plan most 
fiercely. There was a famous Titian augur, called Attus Navius, 


who came forward and plainly forbade the whole thing in the 
name of the Gods. The story goes that Tarquin laughed at the 
augur, and bade him tell by his auguries whether what he then 
had in his mind was possible to be done. And when the augur 
said it was possible, then said the King, "I was thinking that thou 
should'st cut this whetstone asunder with a razor : now let me see 
whether thy auguries will help thee." Whereupon Attus took the 
razor and cut the whetstone asunder. At this the King greatly 
marvelled, and promised that he would not disobey the Gods. 

§ 9. But though Tarquin no longer thought of making new 
Patrician Tribes with new names, he did what in reality came to 
the same thing ; for he added his favourite Plebeian Gentes to 
each of the three Tribes, so that each Tribe consisted of two 
parts, — the Old Eamnes and the New, the Old Tities and the 
New, the Old Luceres and the New (Bamnes primi et secundi, etc.), 
and there were in reality six Patrician Tribes, though they bore 
only three names as before ; and the new Patricians were called 
the Fathers of the Younger Clans, Patres Minorum Gentium. 

Thus the chief Plebeians were numbered among the Patrician 
families, and became part and parcel of the Populus or Body 
Poli tic of Rome ; and were entitled to vote in the Comitia Cu- 
riata. But the mass of the Plebeians remained, as of old, ex- 
cluded from all share in the State. 

Tarquinius also doubled the centuries of Knights. Once they 
had been doubled by Tullus, so they were two hundred in each 
century or squadron, and six hundred in all. After the addition 
made by Tarquinius they amounted to twelve hundred. The 
new Centuries retained the old names, just as in the Tribes, the 
Old and New Ramnes, and so on ; and no doubt they were en- 
rolled from the new Tribes. 

§ 10. When Tarquin had thus attached the Plebeians to the 
state, by raising some and giving hopes to all, he led forth his 
army against the Sabines. He conquered them, and took their 
town Collatia, which he gave in charge to his nephew Egerius 
(the Needy), who was so called because he was left destitute to 
the charge of his uncle Tarquin. The son of Egerius took the 
name of Collatinus. 

He also made war against the cities of Latium, which had not 
been conquered by Ancus Martius. And he was so successful 
in his wars and treaties, that all the old Latin communities sub- 
mitted to Rome as their sovereign state. 

His authority was also recognised by many of his Etruscan 
compatriots ; and he is said first to have introduced at Rome 
the Etruscan ensigns of royal dignity, the golden crown and 
sceptre, the ivory c^air, and the robe striped with violet colour. 


§11. But what made the reign of Tarquinius Priscus most 
famous were the great works by which he improved the city. 
The bounds of the Eoman Forum had already been fixed in part 
by the buildings of Numa and Tullus Hostilius. But Tarquin 
completed them for ever by building booths or shops along the 
northern and southern sides. And in the valley between the 
Palatine and Aventine he formed the Circus Maximus, or great 
race- course, for the celebration of the Roman or Great Games. 

He also vowed a temple to Jupiter on the Saturnian Hill, and 
began to level the ground for its foundations. But this great 
building was reserved for another to complete. 

One remarkable work remains to be mentioned, which even 
to the present day preserves the memory of Tarquin. This is 
the Cloaca Maxima, or great drain, which ran from the valley of 
the Circus Maximus, and joined the Tiber below the island. 
The purpose of this great work was to carry off the waters 
which collected in stagnant pools in the ground to the west of 
the Palatine Hill, which was known by the name of the Vala- 
brum. Its size and execution bear witness to the power and 
greatness of the monarch who planned it. It is formed in a 
semicircular vault, measuring nearly fourteen feet in diameter, 
and consists of three concentric arches, each composed of hewn 
blocks of hard volcanic stone.* 

§ 12. The legend of Tarquin's death is one of the most famous 
in the early Roman annals. It runs thus. He had a favourite 
called Servius Tullius, a young man who some said was born of 
a female Latin slave taken at Corniculum ; whereas others said 
he was no Latin, but an Etruscan called Mastarna, who had 
come to Rome, like Tarquin himself, and assumed a Latin name. 
Servius had the same plans as Tarquin himself, and afterwards 
(as we shall see) executed much which that King was unable to 
perform, whence we may conclude that he was either a Lucerian 
or a member of one of the Latin houses which had lately been 
raised to Patrician rank. Now it was thought that this young 
man would most likely be chosen King when Tarquinius was 
dead. Whereupon the sons of Ancus Martius, who had borne 
patiently the reign of Tarquin, resolved that they would seize 
the crown ; and probably thoy were urged on by their brethren 
the Tities and others of the older Gentes, who could not bear 
that another upstart should be-King. So they procured two 
countrymen, who pretended to have a quarrel, and came before 
the King as if to seek for judgment ; and while one of tliem was 
speaking, the other smote the King on the head with an axe, so 

* See the woodcuts, at the begin nine: and end of this Chapter.. 


that he fell dead. But the lictors seized the murderers : and 
Tanaquil the Queen shut up the palace, and gave out that the 
King was not dead, but only wounded. Then she sent for Ser- 
vius Tullius, and exhorted him to assume the royal robe, and go 
forth with the lictors in kingly state to judge causes in the 
King's name. Thus Tarquinius Priscus died after a reign of 
eight-and-thirty years. And after a time his death was made 
known, and Servius Tullius became King in his place, without 
being regularly chosen by the Assembly of the Curiae. 

§ 13. Servius Tullius was the best and wisest of all the 
Kings, and his reign is a history of the greatest changes that 
took place among the Roman people during the whole time of 
the kingly government. His wars were few, though we hear that 
he overcame the people of Veii and other Etruscan cities. His 
chief glory came from his institutions for the government of the 
people, which completed what Tarquinius Priscus had begun. 

§ 14. We have already spoken of the growth of the Plebs or 
Commons, a third class, belonging neither to the Patricians nor 
the Clients, and shown how Tarquinius raised the richest and 
most powerful houses of this class to be members of the Patri- 
cian Tribes. But the mass of the Plebs continued to live upqn^ 
the Aventine, without having art or part in the affairs of the 
Roman People, The Populus or Body Politic still consisted only 
of Patricians ; but the Plebeians were every day increasing in 
numbers and wealth, and if they were much longer shut out, 
from all part in public affairs, they might rise against the Patri- 
cians and take by force what they could not get as a free gift, 
and so the Aventine would become the chief place of Rome in- 
stead of the Palatine. Servius took measures to guard against- 
this danger by admitting the Plebeians into full citizenship, and 
made them in great measure equal to their Patrician brethren. 

§ 15. It was not proposed to raise the plebeian families to 
patrician rank and make them members of the CurioG, but to 
create a new popular Assembly which was to include all the citi- 
zens, Patricians and Plebeians alike. The whole form, divisions, 
and nature of this Assembly were military. It was called the 
Exercitus ; . it met in the Field of Mars outside the city ; the 
members of it appeared in the arms of their respective divisions, 
and gave their votes in the same manner. But it was not all 
free Romans who were admitted even into this Assembly. . A 
distinction was made between those who had independent means 
of living (locupletes- or assidui*), and those who had no sufficient 

* Assiduns is said to be derived ab mse dando > because all who were included 
in the Classes had to pay the tax. 



1500K 1. 

property (proletarii). The former must have at least 1.1,000 
ases' worth of land or house property, and these alone were in- 
cluded in the new Assembly of Servius. 

The locupletes appeared in the Assembly in five great Classes, 
or armed bodies, which were distinguished by their Census or 
amount of rateable property in land; the richest formed the 
First Class, the next richest the Second Class, and so on. Then 
each of the five Classes was subdivided into a number of Cen- 
turies or companies, of which one half consisted of juniores, or 
men within the age of military service (17 to 45), the other half 
of seniores, or men between 45 and 60. The First Class ap- 
peared in full armour, offensive and defensive ; the Second Class 
was less completely armed, and so on till we come to the Fifth 
Class, which wore no defensive armour, and served as light 
troops, slingers, archers, and the like. 

At the head of the five Classes stood the Horsemen or Knights 
(equites). Servius found six Centuries already existing, each 
containing 200 men, as they had been left by Tarquinius Priscus, 
and all these six Centuries were Patricians, as has been shown. 
To these Servius added twelve Centuries more, the members of 
which were chosen from the best Plebeian families. These were 
the horsemen of the army, amounting in all to 3600 men. They 
were allowed a horse at the public expense, with a certain yearly 
sum for maintaining it. 

Besides these there were two Centuries of carpenters and 
smiths (fabri tignarii et aerarii) for engineering purposes, with 
three of trumpeters and horn-blowers. The former, being skil- 
ful workmen, were thought worthy of being associated with the 
first Class ; the latter belonged to the fifth. The Proletarians, 
thrown into a single century, were added to the fifth Class.* 

* The subjoined table will make it easy to perceive these arrangements at a 
glance, as they are given by Livy : — 


First Class 

Second Class 

Third Class 
fourth Class 

Fifth Class - 


Census, or Rateable 
Property in Land. 

Equites - . 

All having 100,0001 
ases and upwards J 

7.%000 ases and up-") 
wards / 

50,000 ases and up-i 
wards - J 

25,000 ases and up- \ 
wards ------ f 

11,000 ases and up- J 
wards, (more pro- ( 
bably 12,500, asf 
Dionysius says) - 1 


Capite Censi, or Pro- } 
letarii J 


6 Patrician + 12 Plebeian = 
40 Seniores + 40 Juniores = 


■ 80 > 100 

10 Seniores -f- 10 Juniores s= 

10 Seniores -f- 10 Juniores = 
10 Seniores + 10 Juniores = 

15 Seniores -f 15 Juniores = 30 J 



| Helmet, 
) shield, 
j greaves, 
[ cuirass. 
[ Helmet, 
< shield, 
( greaves, 
r Helmet, 
I shield. 

Helmet (?) 



f Sword and 
1 spear. 

f Sword and 
I spear. 

) Sword and 
I spear, 
f Spear and 
I javelin. 

Slings, &c. 



Such was the celebrated assembly known by the name of the 
Comitia Centuriata, or General Assembly of the Centuries. 

§ 16. The Census or Assessment of property in the above 
military classification was made solely with regard to laud and 
all that we call real property. No account was taken of slaves, 
cattle, precious metals, furniture, and all that we call personalty, 
till a much later period. 

The purpose of this Census was twofold : first, to raise a tri- 
butum or tax for military expenses, of which we shall speak in 
a future page ; and secondly, to serve certain political ends, of 
which we will speak here. It is manifest that Servius, when he 
admitted the Plebeians to political power, did not contemplate 
anything like the equality of a democracy. He intended that all 
the citizens of the Classes should have votes, but that their votes 
should avail only in proportion to their landed property. The 
"wealthy were sure to have the preponderance ; for if the Cen- 
turies of the Knights and the other Centuries of the first Class, 
even without the Fabri, agreed together, they could outvote the 
centuries of all the other Classes put together. Moreover, great 
weight was given to age. It is certain that in each Class the 
seniores, or those between the age of 45 and 60, must have been 
far less numerous than the juniores ; yet in each Class they 
formed an equal number of centuries. The number of seniores 
in each of the 40 Centuries of the first Class must have been few. 

§ 17. But though safeguards so many and so great were pro- 
vided in favour of property, the new assembly of Servius con- 
ferred a great and positive boon on the Plebeians. It must be 
remembered that before his time they were outside the Populus 
or Body Politic altogether. They were still excluded from the 
Curiae or Assembly of the Patricians ; and so far as this involved 
political rights, the name of Populus was still confined to the 
old Burgesses. But in reality the Plebs became members of the 
Populus ; for the new Centuriate Assembly slowly but surely 
assumed to itself all the political rights which had formerly 
belonged to the Curiate Assembly alone ; and though it is 
probable that all laws proposed in the former had to receive the 
sanction of the latter (as bills brought forward in the House of 

The whole number of Centuries, therefore, was 194; and in the First Class 
alone there are more than half. 

The Centuries of cornicines, tubicines, &c, were called accensi, because they 
were added to the list of censi. 

The single century of proletarii were called capite censi, because they were 
counted by the head, and not rated by their property. Later, however, the 
proletarii and capite censi were distinguished, the former being those who 
possessed appreciable property of less amount than 11,000 ases. 


Commons must pass through the House of Lords), aud also 
to be authorised by the Senate, which was at this time ex- 
clusively patrician, yet in time these powers were cancelled, and 
the Centuriate Assembly became the supreme legislative body 
of the state.* 

§ 18. But Servius was not satisfied with giving the Plebeians 
% place in the Body Politic. He made regulations which related 
to their well-being, without reference to the Patricians. 

By the conquests of the preceding Kings Rome had gained 
large acquisitions of territory in Latium, and some probably on 
the Etruscan side of the Tiber. Numa had divided the original 
lands of the state into pagi. But these had become quite 
unequal to the altered condition of things ; and Servius now 
distributed the whole Roman territory, as he found it, into a 
number of Tribes. These Tribes of Servius, then, were divisions 
of the soil, like cantons, parishes, or townships, and we must 
take especial care not to confound them with the Tribes of 
Romulus. It is indeed unfortunate that things so different should 
be called by the same name. The Tribes of Romulus were three 
in number ; those of Servius were at least twenty. The Tribes 
of Romulus included the Patrician burgesses only ; in the Tribes 
of Servius none were enrolled but Plebeians. The members of 
each of the Tribes of Romulus held their place in virtue of their 
Patrician birth, independently of their place of habitation ; those 
who belonged to one of the Tribes of Servius belonged to it 
because they had what we might call their " settlement " in some 
particular place. In one point only they were alike. A person 
who once belonged either to a Romulian Tribe of birth or a 
Servian Tribe of place, always remained a member of that 
Tribe, to whatever place he might remove his dwelling. It is 
probable, indeed, that there were means by which the members 
of the Servian Tribes might change their "settlement," but 
nothing is known upon this subject. In each Tribe there were 
Presidents, whose business it was to keep the list of the Tribe ; 
but they were not empowered to remove the name of any person 
on the list simply because he had ceased to reside in the district 
belonging to the Tribe. 

§ 19. Of these Tribes four were in the city and the rest out- 
side the limits of the city. The four city Tribes were, 1. the 
Palatine ; 2. the Colline, answering to the Quirinal Hill ; 3. the 
Suburran, answering to the Ctelian with its neighbouring valleys ; 
4. the Esquiline, which, together with the Viminal or seventh 
Hill, had been already added to the City. It will be observed, 

* The intention of the change was somewhat the same as that wrought by 
Solon at Athens. See Dr. Smith's Hist.' of Greece, p. 97. 


that neither the Saturnian Hill or Capitoline, nor the Aventine, 
was included within these Tribes. Probably the former was 
omitted because it was, as it were, consecrated to military and 
religious purposes ; the latter because it never was included 
within the sacred limits of the Pomcerium. 

§ 20. The Country Tribes were all named after patrician 
Gentes. The names of sixteen are preserved as existing at the 
time of the expulsion of the kings.* The first Tribe which 
bore a name not derived from a noble house was the Crustu- 
mine, which was added under the Eepublic, and made the 
twenty-first Tribe. No doubt the noble Houses which bore the 
same name with these Tribes consisted of the chief persons in 
the districts, just as in England great noblemen took their titles 
from those counties in which their families once possessed almost 
sovereign power. 

§ 21. It is probable that at first none save the Plebeians were 
entered upon the lists of their respective Tribes ; and the Ple- 
beians, thus organised, used to meet in the Forum on market- 
days {nundince) to settle their own affairs. These meetings 
were called the Comitia Tributa, because the Commons gave 
their votes according to their Tribes, as at the Comitia Curiata 
votes were given according to Curiae, and at the Comitia Cen- 
turiata according to Centuries ; for it was an established cus- 
tom at Rome not to vote in a mass ; but first, the voters were 
distributed into smaller bodies, and then, in all cases, questions 
were determined by the majority of those bodies. 

§ 22. Thus, then, the outline of the future Roman constitution 
was marked out. The Patricians met in their Curiae in the 
Comitium at the end of the Forum ; the Plebeians met in 
their Tribes in the Forum ; the whole People, Patricians and 
Plebeians alike, met in the Field of Mars according to their 
Classes and Centuries. 

One of the chief tasks of Roman history is to trace the work- 
ing and development of these Assemblies under the control and 
direction of the Senate. We shall find the Patrician Assembly 
of the Curies, at first supreme, gradually wane and become an 
empty name ; while the Assembly of the Plebeian Tribes gra- 
dually engrosses power to itself, till at length it becomes the 
chief legislative body of the State. Meanwhile the great Assem- 

* These were, 1. Aemilia; 2. Cornelia; 3. Fabia ; 4. Horatia ; 5. Menenia ; 
6. Papiria; 7. Sergia ; 8. Veturia; 9. Claudia; 10. *Camilia; 11. *Galeria ; 
12. *Lemonia; 13. *Pollia ; 14. *Pupinia; 15. *Romilia; 16. *Voltinia. Tne 
names of most of these Tribes are familiar as the names of Patrician Gentes ; 
and it may be presumed that the seven unknown names (marked with asterisks) 1 
represent Gentes that afterwards, became extinct. . . i 



Book I. 

bly of the Classes and Centuries undergoes changes which much 
alter its character, and bring it into close neighbourhood with 
the popular assembly. But of this hereafter. 

§ 23. To Servius Tullius also is attributed the great work of 
enlarging the Pomcerium of Romulus. But while the original 
Pomcerium of the Palatine or Roma Quadrata was the same 
as its wall or line of defence, this rule was not observed by 
Servius. His new Pomoerium, which surrounded the four 
Tribes of the City, included only five of the seven hills ; for the 
Capitoline and Aventine were not admitted within the sacred 
inclosure : but his wall or line of fortification ran round all the 
Seven Hills. 



This will be a convenient opportunity to give some account 
of the City of Rome. Ancient Rome stood on the left bank 
of the Tiber. A little to the north of the ancient city the 


river makes a sudden bend westward, till it is stopped and 
turned to the south-east again by the high ground sloping 
downwards from the Vatican Hill. Between these two reaches 
of the river is inclosed a plain, anciently called the Campus 
Martius, on which stands the greater part of modern Eome. At 
the lower extremity of this plain, where the stream forms an 
island, called the Insula Tiberina, its course is again arrested and 
turned towards the south-west. This turn is caused by the 
abrupt rise of the eminence called in old times the Saturnian 
Hill, and still renowned under its later name of " the Capitol f 
and this shall be taken as the point from which we will survey 
the ancient city. 

The City, as bounded by the wall of Servius, may be likened 
to a fan, of which the Capitol forms the pivot. To this point 
converge, on the north, the Quirinal, Viminal, and Esquiline ; 
then the Palatine and the Cselian, lying in the same line, nearly 
south-east ; and due south, abutting upon the river, the Aven- 
tine. The Quirinal, Viminal, and Esquiline run out like so many 
promontories towards the Capitol; but they soon unite and 
sink gradually into the plain towards the west. 

Across the slope formed by the union of the Quirinal, Vimi- 
nal and Esquiline a great earth-bank and trench were carried, 
of which traces still remain. In its original state this embank- 
ment of Servius Tullius is said to have been 60 feet high and 
its base 50 feet broad, while the foss outside it was 100 feet 
wide and 30 deep. The rest of the circuit was defended by 
walls, which were entered by many gates, of which the most 
famous were the Carmental between the Capitol and the river, 
the Coliine at the northern extremity of the walls, and the 
Capuan to the south of the Cselian Hill. There was also a 
bridge over the river called the Pons Sublicius, or Bridge of 

The whole circuit thus inclosed measures about seven miles, 
and it remained without alteration for many centuries. Great 
suburbs grew up, and as Rome needed no fortifications till the 
times of the later emperors, the walls of Servius were suffered to 
decay, and no new line of fortification was formed till the days 
of Aurelian and Probus (a.d. 270-282), 

§ 24. Besides enlarging and strengthening the city, Servius 
also endeavoured to form an enduring alliance with the whole 
Latin nation, who had been weakened by wars with the former 
kings. He built a temple to the great Latin goddess Diana 
upon the Aventine, and here were to be held sacrifices and 
festivals common both to Rome and Latium. The Sabines also 
desired to share in this alliance, but not on equal terms. There 


was, so runs the legends, a cow of noble form and surpassing 
beauty, which belonged to a Sabine householder : whoever, said 
the soothsayers, first sacrificed this animal in the new-built 
temple of Diana, should hold sway over Rome. The Sabine 
owner brought his cow to offer her on the Aventine. But 
the Roman sacrificing priest bade him first purify himself by 
bathing in the Tiber, and then cunningly himself completed the 

§ 25. It remains to add the famous legend of the death of the 
good king Servius. 

He had assumed kingly power without the consent of the 
patrician Curice, and he had sought confirmation of his title, 
not from this proud assembly, but the new assembly of the 
Classes and Centuries which he had created. It is said that 
when he had finished his reforms he had it in mind to resign 
the sovereignty, and leave his great Assembly to elect two chief 
magistrates to govern in his stead. But he continued to reign 
till he was murdered, like King Tarquinius before him. 

From the two sons of King Ancus there was nothing to fear. 
But Tarquinius Priscus had also two sons, Lucius and Aruns, 
and Servius had two daughters. So he married these two 
daughters to the two young Tarquins, that they might become 
his successors, and might not be jealous of a stranger sitting in 
their father's seat. Now Lucius Tarquinius was a proud and 
violent youth, but his brother Aruns was mild and good. So 
also the elder daughter of King Servius was gentle, but her 
sister was ambitious and cruel. Servius therefore took care 
that Lucius, the violent brother, should be married to the good 
sister, and Aruns, the good brother, to the bad sister ; for he 
hoped that the good might prevail over the evil. But the lamb 
will not lie down with the wolf, nor the hawk couple with the dove. 
Lucius and the younger Tullia conspired together ; and Lucius 
murdered his wife, and Tullia murdered her husband ; and then 
the two wicked ones were free to work their will. 

Lucius Tarquin resolved to make an end of King Servius. 
So he conspired with the Patricians, and chiefly with those 
of the new Gentes, whom his father had raised ; and then he 
came into the Comitium and took his seat upon the throne in 
front of the senate-house, and summoned the Patricians to 
attend on " King Tarquinius." But when King Servius heard 
of it he came forth and asked how any one dared sit on the 
throne while he was alive. But Lucius said it was his father's 
throne, and that it was his own by right. Then he seized 
the eld man and cast him down the steps of the throne, 
and he himself entered into the senate-house. Servius, when he 

Chap. III. 



saw that all were against him, endeavoured to escape homewards ; 
but certain men, sent by Lucius, slew him, and left his body 
lying in the way. 

And when Tullia heard what was done, she mounted her 
chariot and drove to the Forum and saluted her husband king. 
But he bade 'her go home, for such scenes were not fit for 
women. And she came to the foot of the Esquiline Hill, to 
the place where the body of her father lay in the way. And 
when the charioteer saw it, he was shocked, and pulled in his 
horses that he might not drive over the body. But his wicked 
mistress chid him angrily and bade him drive on. So she went 
home " with her father's blood upon her chariot-wheels ;" and 
that place was called the Wicked Street ever after. 

So King Servius died when he had reigned four and forty year?, 
and Lucius Tarquinius the Proud reigned in his stead. 

Cloaca of Marta in Tuscany. 
From Dennis* * Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria' 

Tomb of the Tarquins. 
From Dennis' 'Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria.' 



§ 1. Despotism of second Tarquin. § 2. Alliance with Etruscans and Latins. 
§ 3. Temple on Capitoline. § 4. Legend of Sibyl. § 5. Stratagem by 
which Gabii was taken. § 6. King's sons, with Brutus, sent to consult 
the Delphic Oracle. § 7. Legend of Lucre tia. Expulsion of Tarquins. 
§ 8. Consuls. § 9. Patres Conscripti. § 10. Rex Sacrorum. §11. First 
attempt to restore Tarquin. Judgment of Brutus. § 12. Second attempt 
by Etruscans of Tarquinii and Yeii. Death of Brutus. § 13. P. Valerius 
Poplicola. §14. Consecration of Capitoline Temple by M. Horati us. §15. 
Third attempt to restore Tarquin. Porsenna. Legends of Horatius Codes, 
Mucius Scsevola, Cloelia. § 16. Tarquin at Tusculum. § 17. First Dic- 
tator. § 18. Fourth attempt to restore Tarquin by Latins. Battle of Lake 
Regillus. §19. Death of Tarquin at Cumae. 

§ 1. Tarquin had made himself king chiefly by means of the 
third or Lucerian tribe, to which his family belonged ; but all the 
Patricians were indignant at the curtailment of their privileges 
by Servius, and were glad to lend themselves to any overthrow 
of his power. Tarquin, however, soon kicked away the ladder by 
which he had risen. He abrogated, it is true, the hated As- 
sembly of the Centuries ; but he also trampled upon the Curiate 
Assembly ; so that even those who had helped him to the throne 
repented them of their deed. The name of Superbus, or the 


Proud, testifies to the general feeling against the despotic rule of 
the second Tarquin. 

§ 2. It was by foreign alliances that he calculated on support- 
ing his- despotism at home. The Etruscans were his friends, and 
among the Latins he sought to raise a power which might counter- 
balance the Senate and People of Rome. 

The wisdom of Tarquinius Priscus and Servius had so united 
all the Latin name to Rome, that Rome had become the sove- 
reign city of Latium. The last Tarquin drew those ties still 
closer. He gave his daughter in marriage to Octavius Mamilius, 
Chief of Tusculum, and favoured the Latins in all things. But 
at a general assembly of the Latins at the Ferentine Grove be- 
neath the Alban Mount, where they had been accustomed to 
meet of olden time to settle their national affairs, Turnus Her- 
donius of Aricia rose and spoke against him. Then Tarquinius 
accused him of high treason, and brought false witness against 
him ; and the Latins condemned their countryman to be drowned 
in the Ferentine water, and obeyed Tarquinius in all things. 

§ 3. With them he made war upon the Volscians and took the 
city of Suessa, wherein was a great booty. This booty he applied 
to the execution of great works in the city, in emulation of his 
father and King Servius. The elder Tarquin had built up the side 
of the Tarpeian Hill, and levelled the summit, to be the founda- 
tion of a temple of Jupiter, but he had not completed the work. 
Tarquinius Superbus now removed all the temples and shrines 
of the old Sabine gods which had been there since the time of 
Titus Tatius ; but the goddess of Youth and the god Terminus 
kept their place, whereby was signified that the Roman people 
should enjoy undecaying vigour, and that the boundaries of their 
empire should never be drawn in. Here he built a magnificent 
temple, to be dedicated jointly to the three great gods of the 
Latins and Etruscans, Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva ; and this part 
of the Saturnian Hill was ever after called the Capitol or the 
Chief Place, while the other part was called the Arx or Citadel, 
He brought architects from Etruria to plan the temple, but he 
forced the Roman people to work for him without hire. 

§ 4. One day a strange woman appeared before the King and 
offered him nine books to buy ; and when he refused them she 
went away and burnt three of the nine books, and brought back 
the remaining six and offered to sell them at the same price that 
she had asked for the nine ; and when he laughed at her, she 
went as before and burnt three more books, and came back and 
asked still the same price for the three that were left. Then the 
King, struck by her pertinacity, consulted his augurs what this 
might be ; and they bade him by all means buy the three, and 



said he had done wrong not to buy the nine, fcfr these were the 
Books of the Sibyl and contained great secrets. So the books 
were kept underground in the Capitol in a stone chest, and two 
men (duumviri) were appointed to take charge of them, and con- 
sult them when the state was in danger. 

§ 5. The only Latin town that defied Tarquin's power was 
Gabii ; and Sextus, the king's youngest son, promised to win 
this place also for his father. So he fled from Rome and pre- 
sented himself at Gabii ; and there he made complaints of his 
father's tyranny and prayed for protection. The Gabians be- 
lieved him, and took him into their city, and they trusted him, 
so that in time he was made commander of their army. Now 
his father suffered him to conquer in many small battles, and the 
Gabians trusted him more and more. Then he sent privately to 
his father and asked how he should subdue the Gabians. King 
Tarquin gave no answer to the messenger, but as he walked up 
and down his garden, he kept cutting off the heads of the tallest 
poppies with his staff. At last the messenger was tired, and 
went back to Sextus and told him what had passed. But Sextus 
understood what his father meant, and he began to accuse falsely 
all the chief men, and some of them he put to death and some he 
banished. So at last the city of Gabii was left defenceless, and 
Sextus delivered it up to his father. * 

§ 6. While Tarquin was building his temple on the Capitol, a 
snake came forth and devoured the sacrifices on the altar. Dis- 
mayed by this portent, the King sent persons to consult the 
famous oracle of the Greeks at Delphi, and the persons he sent 
were his own sons Titus and Aruns, and his sister's son, L. Junius, 
a young man who, to avoid his uncle's jealousy, feigned to be 
without common sense, wherefore he was called Brutus or the 
Dullard. The answer given by the oracle was, that the chief 
power of Rome should belong to him of the three who should 
first kiss his mother; and the two sons of King Tarquin agreed 
to draw lots which of them should do this as soon as they re- 
turned home. But Brutus perceived that the oracle had another^ 
sense ; so as soon as they landed in Italy he fell down on the 
ground as if he had stumbled, and kissed the earth, for she (he 
thought) was the true mother of all mortal things. 

§ 7. When the sons of Tarquin returned with their cousin 
Brutus, they found the king at war with the Rutulians of Ardea. 
Being unable to take the place by storm, he sate down before it ; 
and during the blockade, the young men used to amuse them- 

* It is well known that this Legend occurs in Herodotus, who relates that 
Babylon was betrayed to Darius Hystaspes in a similar manner, iii. 154, sqq. 


selves at night with wine and wassail. One night there was a 
feast, at which Sextus, the king's third son, was present, as also 
Collatinus, son of Egerius, the king's uncle, who had been made 
governor of Collatia. So they began to dispute about the worthi- 
ness of their wives ; and when each maintained that his own wife 
was worthiest, " Come, gentlemen," said Collatinus, " let us take 
horse and see what our wives are doing ; they expect us not, and 
so we shall know the truth " So they galloped to Rome, and 
there they found the wives of all the others feasting and revelling ; 
but when they came to Collatia, they found Lucretia, the wife of 
Collatinus, not making merry like the rest, but sitting in the 
midst of her handmaids carding wool and spinning ; so all allowed 
that Lucretia was the worthiest. 

Now Lucretia was the daughter of a noble Roman, Spurius 
Lucretius, Prefect of the City ; for it was the custom, when the 
kings went out to war, to leave a chief man at home to govern in 
the king's name, and he was called Prefect of the City. 

But it chanced that Sextus, the king's son, when he saw the 
fair Lucretia, was smitten with lustful passion ; and a few days 
after he came again to Collatia, and Lucretia entertained him 
hospitably as her husband's cousin and friend. But at midnight 
he came with stealthy steps to her bedside : and holding a sword 
in his right hand, and laying his left hand upon her breast, he 
bade her yield to his wicked desires ; for if not, he would slay her 
and lay one of her slaves beside her, and would declare that he 
had taken them in adultery. So for shame she consented to that 
which no fear would have wrung from her : and Sextus, having 
.wrought this deed of shame, returned to the camp. 

Then Lucretia sent to Rome for her father, and to the camp 
at Ardea for her husband. They came in haste. Lucretius 
brought with him P. Valerius, and Collatinus brought L. Junius 
Brutus, his cousin. And they came in and asked if all were well. 
Then she told them what was done ; " but," she said, " my body 
only has suffered the shame, for my will consented not to the 
deed. Therefore," she cried, " avenge me on the wretch Sextus. 
But though my heart has not sinned, I can live no longer. Lu- 
cretia will not set an example of living in unchastity." So she 
drew forth a knife and stabbed herself to the heart. 

When they saw that, her father and her husband cried aloud ; 
but Brutus drew the knife from the wound, and holding it up, 
spoke thus : " By this pure blood I swear before the Gods that I 
will pursue L. Tarquinius the Proud and all his bloody house 
with fire, sword, or in whatsoever way I may, and that neither 
they nor any other shall hereafter ba Kings in Rome." Then he 
gave the knife to Collatinus and Lucretius and Valerius, and they 

i) 2 


all swore likewise, much marvelling to hear such words from 
L. Junius the Dullard. And they took up the body of Lucretia, 
and carried it into the Forum, and called on the men of Collatia 
to rise against the tj^rant. So they set a guard at the gates of 
the town^ to prevent any news of the matter being carried to 
King Tarquin ; and they themselves, followed by the youth of 
Collatia, went to Home. Here Brutus, who was Chief Captain 
of the Ce 7 eres,* called the people together; and he told them 
what had been done, and called on them by the deed of shame 
wrought by Sextus, by all that they had suffered from the tyrants, 
by the abominable murder of good King Servius, to assist them 
in taking vengeance on the Tarquins. So it was hastily agreed 
to banish Tarquinius and his family. The youth declared them- 
selves ready to follow Brutus against the King's army, and the 
seniors put themselves under the rule of Lucretius, the Prefect of 
the City. In this tumult, the wicked Tullia fled from her house, 
pursued by the curses of all men, who prayed that the avengers 
of her father's blood might be upon her. 

When the King heard what had passed, he set off in all haste 
for the City. Brutus also set off for the camp at Ardea ; and he 
turned aside that he might not meet his uncle the King. So he 
came to the camp at Ardea, and the King came to Rome. And 
all the Romans at Ardea welcomed Brutus, and joined their arms 
to his, and thrust out all the King's sons from the camp. But 
the people of Rome shut the gates against the King, so that he 
could not enter. And King Tarquin, with his sons Titus and 
Aruns, went into exile and lived at Ceere in Etruria. But Sextus 
fled to Gabii, where he had before held rule, and the people of 
Gabii slew him in memory of his former cruelty. 

So L. Tarquinius Superbus was expelled from*. Rome, after he 
had been King five-and-twenty years. And in memory of this 
event was instituted a festival called the Regifugium or Fugalia, 
which was celebrated every year on the 24th day of February. f 

§ 8. To gratify the Plebeians, the Patricians consented to re- 
store, in some measure at least, the popular institutions of King 
Servius ; and it was resolved to follow his supposed intention 
with regard to the supreme government — that is, to have two 
Magistrates elected every year, who were to have the same power 
as the King during the time of their rule. /These were in after 
days known by the name of Consuls ; but iiraiicient times they 
were called Praetors or Judges (Judices). They were elected at 
the great Assembly of the Centuries ; and they had sovereign 
power (imperium) conferred upon them by the Assembly of 

* Tribunus Celerum : see p. 23. t Ovid, Fasti, ii. 286. 


the Curies. They wore a robe edged with violet colour, sat in 
chairs of state called curule chairs, and were attended by twelve 
lictors each. These lictors carried fasces, or bundles of rods, out 
of which arose an axe, in token of the power of life aud death pos- 
sessed by the Consuls as successors of the Kings. But only one of 
them at a time had a right to this power ; and in token thereof, 
his colleague's fasces had no axes in them. Each retained this 
mark of sovereign power (imperium) for a month at a time. 

The first Consuls were L. Junius Brutus and L. 1 arquinius 

§ 9. The new Consuls filled up the Senate to the proper num- 
ber of three hundred ; and the new Senators were called Con- 
scripti, while the old members retained their old name of Patres. 
So after this the whole Senate was addressed by speakers as 
1 ' Patres, Conscripti" (i.e. Patres et Conscripti). But in later 
times it was forgotten that these names belonged to different 
sorts of persons, and the whole Senate was addressed as by one 
name, " Patres Conscripti." 

§ 10. The name of King was hateful. But certain sacrifices 
had always been performed by the King in person ; and to keep 
up the form, a person was still chosen, with the title of Rex 
Sacrorum or Rex Sacrificulus, to perform these offerings. 

§ 11. After his expulsion, King Tarquin sent messengers to 
Rome to ask that his property should be given up to him, and 
the Senate decreed that his prayer should be granted. But 
the King's ambassadors, while they were in Rome, stirred up the 
minds of the young men and others who had been favoured by 
Tarquin, so that a plot was made to bring him back. Among 
those who plotted were Titus and Tiberius, sons of the Consul 
Brutus .; and they gave letters to the messengers of the King. 
But it chanced that a certain slave overheard them plotting ; and 
he came and told the thing to the Consuls, who seized the mes- 
sengers with the letters upon their persons, authenticated by the 
seals of the young men. The culprits were immediately arrested ; 
but the ambassadors were let go, because their persons were re- 
garded as sacred. And the goods of King Tarquin were given up 
for plunder to the people. 

Then the traitors were brought up for judgment, and the sight 
was such as to move all beholders to pity ; for among them were 
the sons of L. Junius Brutus himself, the liberator of the Roman 
people. And now all men saw how Brutus loved his country ; 
for he bade the lictors put all the traitors to death, and his own 
sons first ; and men could mark in his face the struggle between 
his duty as Consul and his feelings as a father. And while they 
praised and admired him, they pitied him yet more. 


Then a decree of the Senate was made that no one of the blood 
of the Tarquins should remain in Home. And since Collatinus, 
the Consul, was by descent a Tarquin,* even be was obliged to 
give up his office and return to Collatia ; and P. Valerius was 
chosen in his stead. 

This was the first attempt to restore Tarquin the Proud. 

§ 12. When Tarquin saw that the plot at home had failed, he 
prevailed on the people of Tarquinii and Veii to make war with 
him against the Romans. But the Consuls came out against them ; 
Valerius commanding the main army, and Brutus the cavalry. 
And when Aruns, the Kings son, who led the cavalry of the 
enemy, saw Brutus, he spurred his horse against him, and Brutus 
declined not the combat. So they rode straight at each other 
with levelled spears ; and so fierce was the shock that they pierced 
each other through from breast to back, and both fell dead. 

Then, also, the armies fought, but the battle was neither won 
nor lost. But in the night a voice was heard by the Etruscans, 
saying that the Romans were the conquerors. So the enemy 
fled by night ; and when the Romans arose in the morning, there 
was no man to oppose them. Then they took up the body of 
Brutus, and departed home, and buried him in public with great 
pomp ; and the matrons of Rome mourned him for a whole year, 
because he had avenged the injury of Lucretia. 

So fared it with the second attempt to restore King Tarquin. 

§ 13. After the death of Brutus, Publius Valerius ruled the 
People by himself, and he began to build himself a house upon 
the ridge called Velia, which looks down upon the Forum. So the 
People thought that he was going to make himself king. But when 
he heard this, he called an Assembly of the People, and appeared 
before them with his fasces lowered, and with no axes in them : 
whence the custom remained ever after, that no consular lictors 
bore axes within the city, and no consul had power of life and 
death except w 7 hen he was in command of his legions abroad. 
And he pulled down his house upon the Velia, and built it below 
that hill. Also he passed laws that every Roman citizen might 
appeal to the People against the judgment of the chief magis- 
trates. Wherefore he was greatly honoured by the People, and 
was called Poplicola or Friend of the People. 

After this Valerius called together the great Assembly of the 
Centuries, and they chose Sp. Lucretius, father of Lucretius, to 
succeed Brutus. But he was an old man, and in not many days 
he died. So M. Horatius was chosen in his stead. 

§ 14. The Temple on the Capitol which King Tarquin began 
had never yet been consecrated. Then Valerius and Horatius 

* Brutus, however, also shared the blood of the Tarquins, but by his 
mother's side. • 


drew lots which should be the consecrator, and the lot fell on 
Horatius. But the friends of Valerius murmured ; and when 
Horatius was now saying the prayer of consecration, with his 
hand upon the doorpost of the temple, there came a messenger, 
who told him that his son was just dead, and that one mourning 
for a son cou]d not rightly consecrate the temple. But Horatius 
kept his hand upon the doorpost, and told them to see to the 
burial of his son, and finished the rites of consecration. 

§ 15. In the next year Valerius was again made Consul, with 
T. Lucretius ; and Tarquinius, despairing of aid from his friends 
at Veii and Tarquinii, went to Lars Porsenna of Clusium, a city 
on the river Clanis, which falls into the Tiber. Porsenna was at 
this time acknowledged as chief of the twelve Etruscan cities ; 
and he assembled a powerful army and came to Rome. He came 
so quickly that he reached the Sublician Bridge before there was 
time to destroy it ; and if he had crossed it, the City would have 
been lost. Then a noble Roman, called Horatius Codes, of the 
Lucerian tribe, with two friends — Sp. Lartius, a Ramnian, and T. 
Herminius, a Titian — posted themselves at the far end of the 
bridge, and defended it against all the Etruscan host, while the 
Romans were cutting it off behind them. When it was all but 
destroyed, his two friends drew back, and Horatius was left alone 
to bear the whole attack of the enemy. Well he kept his ground, 
till the last beams of the bridge fell crashing into the river, when 
he prayed, saying — " Father Tiber, receive me and beai me up. I 
pray thee." Then he plunged in, and reached the other side 
safely ; and the Romans honoured him greatly ; they put up his 
statue in the Comitium, and gave him as much land as he could 
plough round in a day, and .every man at Rome subscribed the 
cost of one day's food to reward him. 

Then Porsenna, disappointed in his attempt to surprise the 
city, occupied the Hill Janiculum, and besieged the city, so that 
the people were greatly distressed by hunger. But C. Mucius, 
a noble youth, resolved to deliver his country. So he armed 
himself with a dagger, and went to the place where the King was 
used to sit in judgment. It chanced that the soldiers were re- 
ceiving their pay from the King's secretary ; and as this man 
seemed to be chief in authority, Mucius thought that this must 
be the King ; so he stabbed him to the heart. Then the guards 
dragged him before the King, who was greatly enraged, and 
ordered them to burn him alive if he would not confess the whole 
affair. But Mucius stood before the King, and said—" See how 
little thy tortures can avail to make a brave man tell the secrets 
committed to him ;" and so saying, he thrust his right hand into 
the fire of the altar, and held it in the flame with unmoved 
countenance. Then the King marvelled at his courage, and 


ordered him to be spared, and sent away in safety : " for," said 
he, " thou art a brave man, and hast done more harm to thyself 
than to me." Then Mucius replied, " Thy generosity, O King, 
prevails more with me than thy threats. Know that three hun- 
dred Roman youths have sworn thy death. My lot came first. 
But all the rest remain, prepared to do and suffer like myself." 
So he was let go, and was called Scsevola, or the Left-haiided, be- 
cause his right hand had been burnt off. 

King Porsenna was greatly moved by the danger he had 
escaped ; and perceiving the obstinate determination of the 
Romans, he offered to make peace. The Romans gladly gave 
ear to his words, for they were hard pressed ; and they con- 
sented to give back all the land which they had won from the 
Etruscans beyond the Tiber. And they gave hostages to the 
King in pledge that they would obey him as they had pro- 
mised, ten youths and ten maidens. But one of the maidens, 
named Clcelia, had a man's heart, and she persuaded all her 
fellows to escape and swim across the Tiber. At this King 
Porsenna w r as much amazed, even more than at the deeds of 
Horatius and Mucius. So when the Romans sent back Clcelia — 
for they would not break faith with the King — he bade her re- 
turn home, and told her she might take whom she pleased of the 
youths who were hostages ; and she chose those who were yet 
boys, and restored them to their parents. 

So the People gave lands to Mucius, and set up an equestrian 
statue to Clcelia at the top of the Sacred Way. And King Por- 
senna returned home ; and the third attempt to bring back Tar- 
quin failed. 

§ 16. When Tarquin now found that he had no hopes of 
further assistance from Porsenna and his Etruscan friends, he 
went and dwelt at Tusculum, where Mamilius Octavius, his son- 
in-law, was still chief. Then the thirty Latin cities combined 
together, and made this Octavius their Dictator, and bound 
themselves to restore Tarquin to the sovereignty of Rome. 

§ 17. P. Valerius, called Poplicola, was now dead, and the 
Romans looked about for some chief worthy to lead them against 
the Latins. Poplicola had been made Consul four times, and 
his compeers acknowledged him as their chief, and all men sub- 
mitted to him as to a king. But now the two Consuls were 
jealous of each other, nor had they power of life and death 
within the City, for Valerius had taken away the axes from 
the fasces. Now this was one of the reasons why Brutus 
and the rest made two Consuls instead of one King ; for 
they said that neither one would allow the other to become 
tyrant ; and since they held office only for one year, they might 


be called on to give account of their government when their year 
was at an end. 

Yet though this was a safeguard of liberty in times of peace, 
it was hurtful in time of war ; for the Consuls chosen by the 
People were not always skilful generals ; or if they were so, they 
were obliged to lay down their command at the year's end. 

So the Senate determined, in cases of great danger, to call 
upon one of the Consuls to appoint a single chief, who should 
be called Dictator, or Master of the People. He had sovereign 
power (imperium) both in the City and out of the City, and the 
fasces were carried before him with the axes in them, as before 
the King. He was appointed only for six months, but at the 
end of the time he had to give no account ; so that he was free 
to act according to his own judgment, having no colleague to 
thwart him at the present time, and no accusation to fear for 
the future. He was general-in-chief, and he appointed an officer 
to command the knights, who was called Master of the Horse. 

And now it appeared to be a fit time to appoint such a chief, 
to take the command of the army against the Latins. So the 
first Dictator was T. Lartius ; and he made Spurius Cassius his 
Master of the Horse. This was in the year 499 B.C., eight years 
after the expulsion of Tarquin. 

§ 18. But the Latins did not declare war for two years after. 
Then the Senate again ordered the Consul to name a Dictator ; 
and he named Aul. Postumius, who appointed T. iEbutius (one 
of the Consuls of that year) to be his Master of the Horse. So 
they led out the Roman army against the Latins, and they met 
at the Lake Regillus, in the land of the Tusculans. King Tarquin 
and his sons were in the host of the Latins ; and that day it was 
to be determined whether Rome should be again subject to the 

King Tarquin himself, old as he was, rode in front of the 
Latins in full armour ; and when he descried the Roman Dictator 
marshalling his men, he rode at him ; but Postumius wounded 
him in the side, and he was rescued by the Latins. Then also 
iEbutius, the Master of the Horse, and Oct. Mamilius, trie 
Dictator of the Latins, charged one another ; and iEbutius was 
pierced through the arm, and Mamilius wounded in the breast. 
Rut the Latin chief, nothing daunted, returned to battle, fol- 
lowed by Titus, the King's son, with his band of exiles ; and 
they charged the Romans furiously, so that they gave way. But 
when M. Valerius, brother of the great Poplicola, saw this, he 
spurred his horse against Titus : and when Titus turned away 
and fled, Valerius rode furiously after him into the midst of the 
Latin host, and a certain Latin smote him in the side as ho was 

d 3 


riding past, so that he fell dead, and his horse galloped on 
without a rider. So the band of exiles pressed still more fiercely 
upon the Romans, and they began to flee. Then Postumius the 
Dictator lifted up his voice and vowed a temple to Castor and 
Pollux, the great twin heroes of the Greeks, if they would aid 
him ; and behold there appeared on his right two horsemen, 
taller and fairer than the sons of men, and their horses were 
white as snow. And they led the Dictator and his guard against 
the exiles and the Latins, and the Romans prevailed ; and T. 
Herminius, the friend of Horatius Codes, ran Mamilius, the Dic- 
tator of the Latins, through the body, so that he" died ; but 
when he was stripping the arms from his foe, another ran him 
through, and he was carried back to the camp, and he also died. 
Then also Titus, the King's son, was slain, and the Latins fled, 
and the Romans pursued them with great slaughter, and took 
their camp and all that was in it. Now Postumius had pro- 
mised great rewards to those who first broke into the camp of 
the Latins, and the first who broke in were the two horsemen on 
white horses ; but after the battle they were nowhere to be seen 
or found, nor was there any sign of them left, save on the hard 
rock there was found the mark of a horse's hoof. 

But at this very time two youths on white horses rode into 
the Forum at Rome, covered with dust and sweat and blood, like 
men who had fought long and hard, and their horses also were 
bathed in sweat and foam ; and they alighted near the Temple 
of Vesta, and washed themselves in a spring that gushes out 
hard by, and told all the people in the Forum how the battle by 
the Lake Regillus had been fought and won. Then they rode 
awav, and were seen no more. 

But Postumius knew that these were Castor and Pollux, the 
great twin brethren of the Greeks, and that it w r as they who 
fought so well for Rome at the Lake Regillus. So he built them 
a temple, according to his vow, over the place where they had 
alighted in the Forum. And their effigies were displayed on 
Roman coins to the latest ages of the City. 

§ 19. This was the fourth and last attempt to restore King 
Tarquin. After the great defeat of Lake Eegillus, the Latin 
cities made peace with Rome, and agreed to refuse shelter to 
the old King. He had lost all his sons : and, accompanied by 
a few faithful friends, who shared his exile, he sought a last 
asylum at the Greek city of Cumse, in the Bay of Naples, at the 
court of the tyrant Aristodemus. Here he died in the course of 
a year, fourteen years after his expulsion. 

Bust of Niebnhr. 
CHAPTER V. „■ 2'^Z &* 


§ i. Nature of Legendary History. § 2. Among Greeks. § 3. Among 
Romans. § 4. Religious and Historical Legends. § 5. Detection of incon- 
gruities in early Roman history: difficulties explained away by ancient 
critics. § 6. Modern critics, before and after Niebuhr. § 7. Relation of 
stories of Kings to actual history. § 8. Romulus and Numa. § 9. Tullus 
and Ancus. § 10. Tarquinius Priscus and Servins. § 11. Tarquinius 
Superbus. 12. Character of next Book. 

§ 1. The early history of Rome, like that of all nations, begins 
with legendary tales. Such Legends are not to be regarded as 
mere Romances, that is, fictions invented for the purpose of 
giving amusement. Among all early nations, tales will be found 
current which pass from mouth to mouth without suspicion 
that they are not absolutely true. They date from times when 
writing is unknown ; and the mere fact of their being repeated 
by word of mouth causes a perpetual variation in the narratives. 
The same original story being handed down traditionally by two 
different tribes, will in a short time assume extremely different 
forms. Names* and circumstances may have been changed, and 
yet the origin may be the same. 

§ 2. Among the Greeks such legendary lore is chiefly connected 

* SeeChapt. i. §-6, ii. § 3, &c 


with religious ideas. The Legends or fivdoi of that lively race 
may mostly be traced to that sort of awe or wonder with which 
simple and uneducated minds regard the changes and movements 
of the natural world. When the attention is excited by the 
regular movements of sun and moon and stars, by the alterna- 
tions of day and night, by the recurrence of the seasons, by the 
rising and falling of the seas, by the ceaseless flow of rivers, by 
the gathering of clouds, the rolling of thunder, and the flashing 
of lightning, by the operation of life in the vegetable and animal 
worlds, in snort by any exhibition of an active and motive power, 
— it is natural for uninstructed minds to consider such, changes 
and movements as the direct work of divine Persons. Thus, 
in the early Greek Legends everything is referred to the imme- 
diate operation of a God. " Cloud- compelling " Zeus is the 
author of the phenomena of the air ; " Earth-shaking " Poseidon 
of all that happens in the water under the earth ; Nymphs are 
attached to every spring and tree ; Demeter, or Mother Earth, 
for six months rejoices in the presence of Proserpine, the green 
herb, her daughter, and for six months regrets her absence in 
dark abodes beneath the earth. 

This tendency to deify the powers of nature is due partly to 
a bright and sunny climate, which inclines a people to live in 
the open air in close communion with all that nature offers to 
charm the senses, partly to the character of the people, partly to 
the poets who in early times wrought these legendary tales into 
beautiful verse. Among the Greeks all these conditions were 
found existing. They lived, so to say, out of doors ; their 
powers of observation were extremely quick, their imagination 
singularly vivid ; and their ancient poems are the most noble 
specimens of the old legendary tales that have been preserved 
in any country.* 

§ 3. But among the Romans we find few traces of this Reli- 

* Compare the beautiful passage in the fourth book of the Excursion : — 

" The lively Grecian, in a land of hills, 
Rivers, and fertile plains, and sounding shores, 
Under a cope of variegated sky, 
Could find commodious place for every god," etc. 

" The traveller slaked 
His thirst from rill or gushing fount, and thanked 
The Naiad. Sunbeams, upon distant hills 
Gliding apace, with shadows in their train, 
Might, with small help from fancy, be transformed 
Into fleet Oreads sporting visibly. 
The Zephyrs, fanning, as they passed, their wings, 
Lacked not, for love, fair objects, whom they wooed 
With gentle whisper/' etc. 


gious Legend. The Eoman poets adopted the mythology of 
Greece, and transferred to Sabine and Latin divinities the attri- 
butes and actions of the Hellenic gods, so that we read of 
Italian divinities disporting themselves on the hills and in the 
valleys of Thessaly or Arcadia. But if there is not much of the 
native Religious Legend among the Romans, there is found an- 
other kind of Legend in great fulness and beauty — the Historic. 

§ 4. We are thus brought to a distinction between the Reli- 
gious Legend, of which we have briefly spoken, and the Heroic 
or Historical, of which we have now to speak. The Religious 
Legend pretends to explain the history of the universe ; the 
Heroic Legend seeks to determine the early history of a par- 
ticular people. As the poetic fancy of the Greek inclined him 
to the former kind, so the practical character of the Roman 
mind loved to dwell upon the fortunes of their own great city. 

§ 5. It is well known that the Legends of Roman history were 
long regarded as sober historic truths. Some keen-sighted 
critics were excited to examine them, and they proved that they 
had no claim to be so regarded.* Impossibilities were pointed 
out, discrepancies of time and fact noted, variations of the same 
story brought forward. The miraculous nature of the Greek 
and Roman Legends was a stumbling-block even to the ancient 
annalists, who escaped the difficulty by retaining the statements 
of the legends, but explaining them away. The Golden Fleece 
was a ship in which Medea and Jason escaped ; the Bull was a 
ship in which Europa was carried off by Jove, and so forth. In 
Grecian literature the chief rationalist was named Euhemeros ; 
in Roman L. Calpurnius Piso played the same part. 

§ 6. But the modern critics of the ancient Legends took a 
different course. It was not the supernatural incidents that 
attracted their notice ; for, after all, there are not many of such 
kind in Roman annals. It was the manifest falsehood of many 
of the early stories which attracted notice, — the exaltation of 
individual heroes, the concealment of defeats and losses. The 
most striking among these inventions, as we shall show below, 
are the stories of Porsenna and Camillus. The immediate effect 

* The first of these critics was Perizonius, a German. But his work 
( Animadversiones Historical) was written in Latin, and addressed only to the 
learned. Yico, an Italian of extraordinary genius, mixed up his historical 
speculations with so much of mysticism, that they also produced but little 
effect. The person who most shook the credit of the old Roman history was 
the Frenchman Beaufort in his essay, Sur V Incertitude de VHistoire Bomaine. 
It is said that he was stimulated to his investigations by national pique. 
He was indignant at the tale that the brave Gauls of Brennus were defeated 
by Camillus. and his successful confutation of this legend led him on to more 
adventurous flights. 


of these discoveries was, that for a time the early annals of 
Rome were passed over in almost contemptuous silence. It was 
then that Niebuhr arose. He acknowledged the sagacity of the 
critics, and conceded that the early history, regarded as an 
actual narrative of facts, was wholly unreal ; but he refused to 
throw it all aside as arbitrary fiction. He showed that the early 
history of Rome, like that of all nations, was legendary, contain- 
ing a poetical account of the first ages of the city, and not plain 
matter of fact ; but the legendary traditions of the Roman people 
are, he contended, so rich and so beautiful, that they give an 
insight into the early genius of the people which would never 
have been divined from the imitative literature which has been 
handed down as Roman. Moreover, mingled with the poetic 
legends, there are accounts of laws and institutions which unde- 
niably existed, such as the regulations attributed to Romulus 
and Numa, and the reforms attributed to the elder Tarquin and 
Servius Tullius. There are also great works remaining to the 
present day, of which these Legends tell — such as the Cloaca 
Maxima, the Substructions of the Capitol, the Agger of Servius 
Tullius. Here we have realities, which cannot be put aside as 
children's tales. 

§ 7. At present we have to estimate the relation which the 
chronicles of Regal Rome bear to actual historical fact. 

The reigns of the seven Kings have been thrown into four 
chapters purposely ; since each presents a legendary character 
of its own. The accounts of Romulus and Numa differ essen- 
tially from those of Tullus and Ancus ; both one and the other 
differ widely from the chronicle of the first Tarquin and of Ser- 
vius ; while the story of the last Tarquin brings us into the 
atmosphere of mere romance. 

§ 8. The reigns of Romulus and Numa are in the realm of 
pure mythology. Romulus, like iEneas, is the son of a god; 
Numa, like Anchises, is the favoured lover of a goddess. Ro- 
mulus is the man of force, for Roma (paw) signifies strength and 
vigour. Numa is the man of law, for numus (yofios) signifies law. 
Under these typical names is embodied the origin of the social, 
political, and religious institutions of Rome ; and under the 
mythical story of these reigns we may clearly discern historical 
truth. We see in them a continual struggle between the original 
Latin influence and the Sabine. Romulus the Roman founds the 
city on the Palatine, and is obliged to admit into partnership 
Titus the Sabine, who occupies both the Quirinal and Saturnian 
Hills. Then Titus is slain by Latins, and the Roman King re- 
gains ascendancy. But he is carried miraculously away, is wor- 
shipped under a Sabine name, and a Sabine king succeeds. Here 


we trace the marks of Sabine conquest. The admission of 
Sabines into the city suggests this ; their occupation of the 
stronghold on the Saturnian Hill confirms it ; the assumption of 
a Sabine name by the Roman king, and the appellation of Qui rites 
given to the united citizens, prove it. 

It is probable, indeed, that the early institutions of Rome are 
Sabine rather than Latin, The religious ordinances of Numa 
are confessedly so ; the social and political regulations attributed 
to Romulus are probably so. 

Indeed, the relation of Patrons and Clients implies a conquering 
and a conquered people. The Clients we may presume to be the 
Aborigines, a Pelasgian tribe, first reduced by Oscans, and after- 
wards by Sabines. After the conquest by the Sabines, it may 
be supposed that the chief Oscan families were admitted to 
equality with the conquerors : while the mass of the Osco- 
Pelasgian population sank into the condition of vassals. 

Something similar occurred after the conquest of England by 
William the Norman. The great Saxon families were favoured 
by the Conqueror till a wide-spread rebellion convinced him 
that he could not retain his power but by fear : a few years later 
the French wars promoted equality between the Norman lords 
and the Saxon chiefs, while the mass of the nation remained in a 
state of serfdom ; but at length the Norman element was entirely 
absorbed by the Saxon. 

We may say, then, that the reigns of Romulus and Numa 
represent a period of Sabine supremacy ; during which institu- 
tions of Sabine origin were moulded and modified to suit the 
genius of the combined people ; and that slowly, but surely, the 
spirit and genius of the Latin people prevailed over their Sabine 
conquerors, just as the spirit and genius of the Anglo-Saxons 
gradually overpowered the Norman influence. 

§ 9. The reigns of Tullus and Ancus present, in some mea- 
sure, a repetition of those of Romulus and Numa. The Roman 
King dies by a strange and sudden death ; the Sabine succeeds. 
But the miraculous has disappeared. The Kings are ordinary 
mortals, not the sons and spouses of divinities ; there is little 
even of heroic legend ; but there are a few naked facts which 
are no doubt historical, as the destruction of Alba by Tullus, 
the conquest of the Latin shore by Ancus, and the rapid growth 
of an independent Commonalty by the side of the Patrons and 
their Clients. But there are few signs of hostility between Latins 
and Sabines. The reigns of Tullus and Ancus seem to denote a 
period in which the two nations were going through a rapid pro- 
cess of fusion. 

§ 10. With the elder Tarquin and Servius the scene changes 


suddenly. The differences between Bomans and Sabines have 
disappeared : the fusion of theRamnian and Titian tribes is com- 
plete. But the third Tribe, the Lucerian, hitherto kept in a 
subordinate position, now starts into political life. It seems to 
have been of a mixed race, partly Etruscan, partly Latin, though 
gradually the Latin element preponderated. This mixture is 
indicated by the varying accounts which are given of the birth- 
place and family of Tarquin and Servius. The former is com- 
monly represented as an Etruscan emigrant, but one Legend 
calls him a Latin ; the latter is generally regarded as a Latin, but 
one Legend makes him an Etruscan chief, named Mastarna, the 
comrade of Caeles Vibenna. It may be said, then, that the bulk * 
of the third Tribe was Latin, and that whatever there was in 
Rome of Etruscan decayed and vanished away. 

Yet it is certain that, under these Kings, Rome became the 
centre of a considerable monarchy, extending its sway over 
Lower Etruria and all Latium. This is proved not only by the 
Legends, but by the great works which still remain to attest the 
power and wealth of those who executed them, the Cloacae of 
Tarquin, the walls of Servius, the great extent of ground en- 
closed by them, and the plan of the Capitoline Temple. 

Further, it is certain that under these Kings the old oligar- 
chical constitution was in great measure superseded. The first 
Kings, according to the Sabine rule, had been the chiefs in war ; 
but in peace their power was almost limited to the duty of pre- 
siding over the assembly of the Curiae, and in the Council of the 
Senate. Their power of life and death was limited by the right 
of appeal to the Curiate Assembly, as is shown in the legend of 
Horatius. But Tarquin admitted great numbers of new Bur- 
gesses to leaven the Oligarchy, and Servius remoulded the whole 
population into a new political frame. It cannot be doubted 
that with the decrease in the power of the Oligarchy, the power 
of the Kings increased. The reigns of Tarquin the Elder and 
Servius represent a period in which the old Sabino-Roman Oli- 
garchy gave way before the royal power, supported by the Latin 
Plebs, just as in England the Commons were called to Parliament 
by the Plantagenet kings to counterbalance the overwhelming 
power of the feudal aristocracy. 

§11. The reign of the last Tarquin represents the consumma- 
tion of this work. Royalty is now absolute. The Plebeians, 
having served the purpose of lowering the Oligarchy, are cast 
aside, and a despotic monarchy overrules both alike. As the 
reigns of Tullus and Ancus, of the elder Tarquin and Servius are 
almost empty of legendary tales, so the accounts of the last 
Tarquin are nothing but a series of romantic Legends, be- 

Chap. V, 



ginning with the death of Servius, and closing with the great 
battle of Lake Regillus. We collect from these Legends that 
Tarquin the Despot was a powerful monarch, a man of ability 
and energy, who acknowledged no political rights except those 
of the monarch. No sooner was his fall achieved, than the dis- 
union of the Patrician and Plebeian Orders disclosed itself, just 
as in England the enmity of Churchmen and Puritans, who had 
combined for a moment against the Stuarts, broke out with 
double fury after their fall. 

§ 12. In the History of Eome under the Patricians, which 
forms the subject of our next Book, we have still to deal with 
legendary narrative. But it is of a different kind to that which 
meets us in the chronicle of Regal Rome. There the Legends are 
mostly national, and here they will be personal. There they 
refer to dynasties and the changes which arose from feuds be- 
tween conquerors and conquered ; here they relate chiefly to 
foreign wars, and the prowess of patrician heroes. 

Ostia at the present day. 

View of Campagna. 





§ 1. Extent of Roman power at Expulsion of Kings. § 2. It fell with 
Monarchy. § 3. Romans for a time subject to Porsenna. § 4. Rome no 
longer head of Latium : accession of Attus Clausus and 3000 Clients. 
Narrow limits of Roman History for next 150 years. §5. Site of Rome: 
Campagna. § 6. Nations bordering on plain of Rome : Tusculum, &c. 
§7. Lower Apennines : Prseneste : Yolscians : iEquians : Hernicans. §8. 
Lower Etruria. 

§ 1. It is stated that, in the first year of the Republic, a sort 
of commercial treaty was made between Rome on the one part, 
and Carthage on the other. The very fact of a great trading 
city like Carthage thinking it worth while to enter into such a 
treaty, leads us to look on Rome with very different eyes from 


those of the early Annalists. It is evident that she must have 
occupied an important position in the Mediterranean. The im- 
pression raised by the mere existence of such a treaty, is much 
strengthened by its articles, so far as they have been preserved. 
It appears that the Carthaginians on their part bound themselves 
to make no settlement for trading purposes on the coast of 
Latium and Campania, while the Romans on their part cove- 
nanted not to sail along the African coast southward of the 
Hermsean promontory. This jealousy of maritime interference 
on the side of Carthage shows that Rome must have been in 
possession of a considerable naval force. Again, the Latins are 
in the treaty expressly called the "subjects" of Rome. 
' § 2. It is probable, then, on the one hand, that the Tarquins 
and Servius ruled a considerable kingdom, which included all 
Latium, and probably also great part of Etruria. It is certain, 
on the other hand, that this dominion fell with the monarchy. 

§ 3. The war with Porsenna and the Etruscans shows that 
Etruria was no longer subject to Rome : nay, there is evidence 
to prove that the Romans themselves became for a time subject 
to the Etruscan yoke. We have heard the legend of Porsenna 
as it is related by Roman bards. But it is certain that the truth 
has been* much distorted. The tales of Horatius, of Mucius, of 
Clcelia, are noble poetry, and stir the youthful heart with no un- 
generous fire. Yet we must confess that Porsenna conquered 
Rome, and held it for a time at least under an iron rule. Tacitus, 
the greatest of Roman historians, lets drop the fact that " the 
City itself was surrendered " to the Etruscan monarch :* another 
writer tells us, that the war lasted three years :f the legend 
itself confesses that Rome at this time lost its Trans-Tiberine 
pagi, and that Porsenna was honoured by the present of an ivory 
throne, a sceptre, a crown of gold, and a robe of state, the very 
marks of Etruscan monarchy introduced at Rome by the elder 
Tarquin : and, lastly, Pliny expressly cites the treaty, by which 
it appears, that Porsenna forbade the Romans to use any iron 
except for implements of husbandry.^ 

But this dominion of the Etruscans over Rome did not con- 
tinue long ; for, soon after, Porsenna was defeated and slain 
before the Latin city of Aricia ; and then it was, doubtless, that 
the Romans seized and sold the goods of King Porsenna. 

§ 4. So, notwithstanding the triumph of Lake Regillus, it 
is certain that Rome no longer w r as the head of Latium. The 
Latin cities Tusculum, Lanuvium, Corioli, and others, within 

* " Dedita Urbe " — Tacit. Histor. iii. 72. t Orosius, ii. 5. 

% Hist. Nat. xxxiv. 39. With this may be compared the treatment of tlw 
Israelites by the Philistines, 2 Sam. xiii. 10 -2D. 


ten or twelve miles of the Forum, asserted their independence ; 
net to speak of Tibur, Prseneste, and others, which were more 
remote. The only accession to her territory, amid all these 
losses, arose from the voluntary union of some Sabines with 
their old compatriots at Rome. Most of the Sabine tribes in 
proximity with Rome supported the Latins in their revolt. But 
a powerful chief, of the name of Attus Clausus, with a following 
of no less than three thousand clients, became a Roman, and 
was settled in a Sabine district beyond the Anio, which was 
constituted as a local Tribe ; — the number of the Tribes being 
thus raised to Twenty-one. Rome, therefore, now appears as 
mistress only of a small territory on the left bank of the Tiber. 
The next century and a half of her history is occupied in recon- 
quering what she had lost : and though the narrative is still 
much mixed up with legendary tales, yet the lands which she 
wins are real and substantial things and remain in her possession 
for ever. Here then it will be instructive for the student to 
pause and take a geographical survey of the Roman territory and 
its adjacent lands. 

§ 5. The City of Rome stands in the midst of along tract of 
volcanic country, which stretches from the Pontine Marshes on 
the south to Acquapendente, a town of modern Tuscany, on the 
north. The land along the coast-line of this tract, from Civita 
Vecchia, the port of modern Rome, to Cape Circello, is flat and 
low. But the land rises gradually inland, till at Rome the 
general level is considerably above the sea. To one standing 
upon the Capitol, the view towards Tuscany is immediately 
bounded by a ridge of hills, which skirt the Tiber on the west. 
The height directly west of the Capitol is Mount Janiculum ; 
northward and facing the Campus Martins, is the Vatican hill ; 
while still further north appears the more considerable emi- 
nence of Mount Marius. Due north, the view up the valley 
of the Tiber is closed by the noble mass of Soracte. From 
this point round to the sea, that is on the north-east, east and 
south, the eye ranges over a plain, popularly called the Cam- 
pagna di Roma. 

§ 6. A little to the south of east the plain is interrupted by a 
beautiful range of hills, which rise abruptly and by themselves 
from its surface. This is the volcanic range so well known as 
the Alban Hills. The highest peak, measuring about 3000 feet, 
was anciently crowned by the Temple of Jupiter Latiaris, the 
common sanctuary of the Latin nation ; and on the ridge, of 
which it forms the culminating point, once lay the town of Alba 
Longa. In two hollows, to the south-west are found the Alban 
lake and the lake of Nemus (Nemi), being both of them formed 


by accumulations of water in the craters of extinct volcanos. On 
a separate ridge to the north lay Tusculum (Frascati), one of the 
Latin cities which threw off the Roman yoke on the expulsion 
of the Tarquins : Corioli and Lanuvium were situated on similar 
eminences to the south. 

§ 7. A line, drawn along the map of Italy from below Narnia 
dow r n the Tiber, then across the Sabine country to Tibur, and 
so past Prameste and Signia to Terracina, marks the edge of a 
continuous chain of hills which bound the plain of Latium. At 
Prameste the ridge # sinks and lets the eye into the valley of the 
Trerus (Sacco),- which runs eastward to join the Liris. Prse- 
neste (Palestrina) itself stands on a bold projecting eminence, 
in the gap formed by the sinking of the hills. Now this natural 
division of the range, which we call the Lower Apennines, cor- 
responds to its political division at the time of which we speak. 
The range between the right bank of the Trerus and Terracina 
was the hill country of the Volsci, who stretched across the 
Liris to Sora and Arpinum. The upper part, from the Anio 
northwards, was the country of the ^Equians, reaching beyond 
Oarseoli and Alba, and including the Fucine lake (Lake of 
Celano), the largest piece of water in the Apennine range. 
Between these two tribes, that is between the Trerus and the 
Anio, lay, wedged in their upland valley, the Hernicans. The 
Volscians and the iEquians were probably Opican tribes, who 
lay behind the mountainous tract which leads into Campania ; 
whereas the Hernicans, a brave and independent people, were 
of Sabine blood. The mountains to the north-east about Reat6 
up to Amiturnum, are the ancient homes of the Sabines ; and 
from these mountains descended the fir^t occupants of Rome 
and Latium. Close above Amiturnum rises the wild mass of 
Monte Corno, and the highest peaks of the Apennine range. 
For six months of the year the central ridge may be distin- 
guished by its snow-capt summits. 

§ 8, Beyond the ridge which has been described as barring 
all view towards ancient Etruria on the west and north-west, lay 
what we may call Lower Etruria. This district, lying between the 
lower valley of the Tiber and the sea, is separated from Upper 
Etruria by a range of volcanic hills, which strike across the 
country at right angles to the Apennine valleys. They formed 
an unfrequented tract, then called the Ciminian Forest, beyond 
which no Roman for many years after dared to penetrate. 
It is from the eastern edge of this range, now called Monte 
Fiascone, above Viterbo, that the traveller from Florence obtains 
his first view of the Campagna. Below these hills was the country 
occupied by the Veientines and the Faliscans. Beyond them 



Book II. 

again, the places of chief note were Sutrium and Nepete ; and 
towards the sea lay the low lands of Csere, a city which plays a 
considerable part in the history of Rome. Veii was not more 
than twelve miles distant from the walls of Rome. 

With this geographical sketch, which should be verified by 
comparison with the map, all the progress of Rome in foreign 
conquest may readily be followed for the next century and a 
half. Her arms, in that period, never travelled further than 
twenty miles from Rome ; generally their action took place in a 
much more circumscribed sphere. % 

Lake of N T emi, looking over the Campagna. 

( 71 ) 



§ I. Struggle between Orders. §2. Sufferings of Plebeians. §3. All power 
gradually resumed by Patricians. § 4. Patricians an exclusive Caste: pri- 
vilege of Connubium. § 5. Plebeians first roused by severe Laws of Debtor 
and Creditor. § 6. Story of incident which gave rise to Tribunate : Appius 
Claudius, leader of Patricians, deceives Plebeians. § 7. Secession of Plebeians 
to Mons Sacer. § 8. Menenius Agrippa : Fable of Belly and Members. 
§ 9. Peace restored : two Tribunes to be chosen as Protectors of Plebeians. 
§10. Incompleteness of Protection. 11. Plebeian jEdiles. 

§ 1. In the following chapters of this Book we shall have to 
record, not only the slow steps by which the Eoinans recovered 
dominion over their neighbours, but also the long-continued and 
patient struggle by which the Plebeians raised themselves to a 
level with the Patricians, who had again become the dominant 
caste at Pome. To an Englishman this history ought to be 
especially dear ; for more than any other it resembles the long- 
enduring constancy and uoble self-control with which the Com- 
mons of his own country secured their rights. It was by a 
struggle of a century and a half that the character of the Roman 
people was moulded into that form of strength and energy 
which threw back Hannibal to the coasts of Africa, and made 
their City mistress of the Mediterranean. 

§ 2. There can be no doubt that the wars which followed the 
Expulsion of the Tarquins, with the loss of territory that accom- 
panied these wars, must have reduced all orders of men at Rome 
to great distress, but the Plebeians most of all. The Plebeians 
consisted entirely of landholders and husbandmen ; for in those 
times the practice of trades and mechanical arts was considered 
unworthy of a free-born man. Some of the Plebeian families 
were as wealthy as any among the Patricians ; but the mass of 
them were petty yeomen, who lived on their small farms, and 
were solely dependent for a living on their' own thrift and 
industry. Most of them lived in the villages and small towns, 
which in those times were thickly sprinkled over the slopes of 
the Campagna. 

^ The Patricians, on the other hand, resided chiefly within the 
City. If slaves were few as yet, they had the labour of their 
Clients available to till their farms ; and through their Clients 


also they were enabled to derive a profit from the practice of 
trading and crafts, which personally neither they nor the Ple- 
beians would stoop to pursue. Besides these sources of profit, 
they had at this time the exclusive use of the Public Land, a 
subject on which we shall have to speak more at length here- 
after. At present, it will be sufficient to say, that the Public 
Land had been the Crown Land or Regal Domain, which had 
been forfeited to the State. The Patricians, being in possession 
of all actual power, engrossed possession of it, and paid a small 
quit-rent to the Treasury for this great advantage. 

Besides this the necessity of service in the army, or militia 
(as it- might more justly be called), acted very differently on 
the rich landholder and the small yeoman. The latter being 
called out with sword and spear for the > summer's campaign, 
as his turn came round, was obliged to leave his farm uncared 
for, and his crop could only be reaped by the kind aid of 
neighbours ; whereas the rich proprietor, by his Clients or his 
hired labourers, could render the required military service with- 
out robbing his land of labour, Moreover, the territory of 
Eome was so narrow, and the enemy's borders so close at hand, 
that any night the stout yeoman might find himself reduced to 
beggary, by seeing his crops destroyed, his cattle driven away, 
and his homestead burnt in a sudden foray. The Patricians 
and rich Plebeians were, it is true, exposed to the same contin- 
gencies. But wealth will always provide some defence ; and it 
is reasonable to think that the Patricians and their Clients, 
together with the wealthy Plebeians, might escape the storm 
which destroyed the isolated yeoman. 

§ 3. For some time after the expulsion of the Tarquins, it was 
necessary for the Patricians to> treat the Plebeians with liberality. 
The institutions of " the Commons' King," King Servius, sus- 
pended by Tarquin, were, partially at least, restored. But when 
the fear of the Tarquins ceased, these flattering signs disap- 
peared. The Consuls seem still to have been elected, by the 
Centuriate Assembly, but the Curiate Assembly retained in 
their own hands the right of conferring the Imperiuni, which 
amounted to a positive veto on the election by the larger body. 
All the names of the early Consuls, except in the first year of 
the Republic, are Patrician. But if by chance a Consul displayed 
popular tendencies, it was in the power of the Senate and Patri- 
cians to suspend his power by the appointment of a Dictator. 
Thus, practically, the Patrician Burgesses again became the 
Populus or Body Politic of Rome. 

§ 4. It must here not be forgotten that this dominant body 
was an exclusive caste ; that is, it consisted of a limited number 


of noble families, who allowed none of their members to marry 
with persons born out of the pale of their own order. The 
child of a Patrician and a Plebeian, or of a Patrician and a 
Client, was not considered as born in lawful wedlock ; and, 
however proud the blood which it derived from one parent, the 
child sank to the condition of the parent of lower rank. This 
was expressed in Roman language by saying that there was no 
Eight of Connubium between Patricians and any inferior classes 
of men. 

§ 5. The Plebeians might long have submitted to this state 
of social and political inferiority, had not their personal distress 
and the severe laws of debtor and creditor driven them to seek 
relief, by claiming to be recognised as members of the body 
politic. If a Roman borrowed money, he was expected to enter 
into a contract with his creditor to pay the debt by a certain 
day;* and if on that day he was unable to discharge his obli- 
gation, he was summoned before the Patrician judge, who was 
authorised by the law to assign the defaulter as a bondsman 
to his creditor ;t that is, the debtor was obliged to pay by his 
own labour the debt which he was unable to pay in money. Or 
if a man incurred a debt without such formal contract, the rule 
was still more imperious ; for in that case the law itself fixed 
the day of payment ; and if, after a lapse of thirty days from that 
date, the debt was not discharged, the creditor was empowered 
to arrest the person of his debtor, to load him with chains, and 
feed him on bread and water for another thirty days ; and 
then, if the money still remained unpaid, he might put him to 
death, or sell him as a slave to the highest bidder ; or, if there 
were several creditors, they might hew his body in pieces, and 
divide it. And in this last case the law provided with scru- 
pulous providence against the evasion by which the Merchant 
of Venice escaped the cruelty of the Jew ; for the Roman 
law said, that " whether a man cut more or less [than his 
due], he should incur no penalty." These atrocious provisions, 
however, defeated their own object ; for there was no more 
unprofitable way in which the body of a debtor could be dis- 
posed of. 

§ G. It was, by the common reckoning, fifteen years after the 
expulsion of the Tarquins (494 B.C.), that the Plebeians were 

* Contracts were in Roman language called nexa y and persons bound by 
contract were next, 

f The technical word was addixib. Hence persons delivered over as bonds- 
men were addicti; and the word addtctus came to mean generally bound to do 
a thing, as in the phrase, " Nnllius addictus jurare in verba magistri/' Horai. 
Epist. i. 1, 14. 

KOMti. k 


roused to take the first step in the assertion of their rights. 
The Plebeians had reason to expect some relaxation of the law 
of debt, in consideration of the great services they had rendered 
in the war. But none was granted. The Patrician creditors 
began to avail themselves of the severity of the law against 
their Plebeian debtors. The discontent that followed was great : 
and the Consuls prepared to meet the storm. These were 
Appius Claudius, the proud Sabine nobleman who had lately 
become a Roman, and who now led the high Patrician party 
with all the unbending energy of a chieftain whose will *had 
never been disputed by his obedient clansmen ; and P. Servilius, 
who represented the milder and more liberal party of the Fathers. 

It chanced that an aged man rushed into the forum on a 
market-day, loaded with chains, clothed with a few scanty rags, 
his hair and beard long and squalid ; his whole appearance 
ghastly, as of one oppressed by long want of food and air. He 
was recognised a 3 a brave soldier, the old comrade of many who 
thronged the forum. Pie told his story, how that in the late 
wars, the enemy had burnt his house and plundered his ljttle 
farm ; that to replace his losses, he had borrowed money of a 
Patrician ; that his cruel creditor (in default of payment) had 
thrown him into prison,* and tormented him with chains and 
scourges. At this sad tale the passions of the people rose high. 
Appius was obliged to conceal himself ; while Servilius under- 
took to plead the cause of the Plebeians with the Senate. 

Meantime news came that the Roman territory was invaded 
by the Volscian foe. The Consuls proclaimed a levy ; but the 
stout yeomen, one and all, refused to give in their names and 
take the military oath ; when Servilius proclaimed by edict, 
that no citizen should be imprisoned for debt so long as the war 
lasted, and that at the close of the war he would propose an 
alteration of the law. The Plebeians trusted him, and the 
enemy was driven back. But when the popular Consul re- 
turned with his victorious soldiers, he was denied a triumph ; 
and the Senate, led by Appius, refused to make any concession 
in favour of the debtors. 

The anger of the Plebeians rose higher and higher ; when 
again news came that the enemy were ravaging the lands of 
Rome. The Senate appointed a Dictator to lead the citizens 
into the field. But to make the act popular, they named 
M. Valerius, a descendant of the great Poplicola. The same 
scene was repeated over again. Valerius protected the Ple- 

* Such prisons were called ergasiula, and afterwards became the places foi 
keeping slaves in. 

Chap. Vll. THE TRIBUNATE. 75 

beians against their creditors while they were at war, and pro- 
mised them relief when war was over. But w 7 hen the danger 
was gone by, Appius again prevailed ; the Senate again refused 
to make concessions; and the Dictator laid down his office, 
calling gods and men to witness that he was not responsible for 
this breach of faith, 

§ 7. The Plebeians whom Valerius had led forth were still 
under arms, still bound by their military oath ; and" Appius 
refused to disband them. The army, therefore, having lost 
Valerius, their proper general, chose two of themselves, L. Junius 
Brutus and L. Sicinius Bellutus by name, and under their com- 
mand they marched northwards and occupied the hill which 
commands the junction of the Tiber and the Anio. Here, at 
a distance of about two miles from Rome, they determined to 
settle and form a new city, leaving Rome to the Patricians and 
their Clients. But the latter were not willing to lose the best 
of their soldiery, the cultivators of the greater part of the 
Eoman territory, and they sent repeated embassies to persuade 
the seceders to return. They, however, turned a deaf ear to 
all promises ; for they had too often been deceived. Appius 
now urged his compeers to leave the Plebeians to themselves ; 
the Nobles and their Clients, he said, could well maintain them- 
selves without such base aid. 

§ 8. But wiser sentiments prevailed. T. Lartius and M. Vale- 
rius, both of whom had been Dictators, with Menenius Agrippa, 
an old Patrician of popular character, were empowered to treat 
with the people ; and old Menenius addressed them in the 
famous fable of the Belly and the Members : — 

"In times of old," said he, "when every Member of the body 
could think for itself, and each had a separate will of its own, 
they all, with one consent, resolved to revolt against the Belly. 
They knew no reason, they said, why they should toil from morn- 
ing till night in its service, while the Belly lay at its ease in the 
midst of all, and indolently grew fat upon their labours. Ac- 
cordingly, they agreed to support it no more The feet vowed 
they would carry it no longer ; the hands that they would do no 
more work ; the teeth that they would not chew a morsel of 
meat, even were it placed between them. Thus resolved, the 
Members for a time showed their spirit and kept their resolu- 
tion ; but soon they found, that instead of mortifying the Belly, 
they only undid themselves : they languished for awhile, and 
perceived too late that it was owing to the Belly that they had 
strength to work and courage to mutiny." 

§ 9. The moral of this fable was plain. The people readily 
applied it to the Patricians and themselves ; arid their leaders 


proposed terms of agreement to the Patrician messengers. They 
required that the debtors who could not pay should have their 
debts cancelled ; and that those who had been given up into 
slavery (addicti) should be restored to freedom. This for the 
past. And as a security for the future, they demanded that 
two of themselves should be appointed, for the sole purpose of 
protecting the Plebeians against the Patrician magistrates. The 
two officers thus to be appointed were called Tribunes of the 
Plebs. Their persons were to be sacred and inviolable during 
their year of office, whence their office is called " sacrosancta 
Potestas." They were never to leave the City during that time. 
Their houses were to be op^n day and night, that all who needed 
their aid might demand it without delay. 

§ 10. This concession, apparently great, was much modified 
by the fact that the Patricians insisted on the election of the 
Tribunes being made at the Comitia of the Centuries, in which 
themselves and their wealthy clients could usually command a 
majority. In later times, the number of the Tribunes was in- 
creased to five, and afterwards to ten. They were elected at the 
Comitia of the Tribes, as we shall have to notice presently. 
They had the privilege of attending all sittings of the Senate, 
though they were not considered members of that famous body. 
Above all, they acquired the great and perilous power of the 
Veto, by which any one of their number might stop any law, or 
arrest any decree of the Senate, without cause assigned. . This 
right of Veto was called the right of intercession. 

On the spot where this treaty was made, an altar was built to 
Jupiter, the Causer and Banisher of Fear ; for the Plebeians had 
gone thither in fear and returned from it in safety. The place 
was called Mons Sacer, or the Sacred Hill, for ever after, and the 
laws by which the sanctity of the tribunitian office was secured 
were called the Leges Sacratae. 

§ 11. The Tribunes were not properly magistrates, for they had 
no express functions or official duties to discharge. They were 
Representatives and Protectors of the Plebs. At the same time, 
however, with the institution of these protective officers, the 
Plebeians were allowed the right of having two iEdiles chosen 
from their own body, whose business was to preserve order in 
the streets, to provide for the repair of the buildings and road- 
ways, with other functions partly belonging to police-officers, and 
partly to commissioners of public works. 

Tarpeian "Rock. 
From a Sketch by Sir Gardner Wilkinson, 




§ 1. Sp. Cassius, Patrician, patron of the Plebeians: proposes an Agrarian 
Law. § 2. Nature of Agrarian Laws. § 3. The Patricians allow Law to 
pass. § 4. Sp. Cassius condemned for aiming at kingly power. § 5. But 


boldness of Tribunes also increases : n Consul impeached by Tribune Genu- 
cius, who is murdered. § 6. Volero Publilius refuses to enlist. § 7. Chosen 
Tribune: Publilian Law, enacting that Tribunes should be chosen by Tribes. 
§ 8. Second Appius Claudius elected Consul to oppose Law : in vain. Five 
Tribunes henceforth elected at Comitia Tributa. 

§ 1. The small beginning of political independence which the 
Plebeians had gained by the institution of the Tribunate, seemed 
likely to be much furthered by the unexpected appearance of a 
patron of their order in the ranks of the Patricians themselves. 
This was Spurius Cassius, a notable man, who was three times 
Consul. A remarkable act of 'his third Consulship was the pro- 
posal of the first Agrarian Law. 

§ 2. Great tnistakes formerly prevailed on the nature of the 
Roman laws familiarly termed Agrarian. It was supposed that 
by these laws all land was declared common property, and that 
at certain intervals of time the stato resumed possession, and 
made a fresh distribution thereof to all citizens, rich and poor. 
The lands which were to be distributed by Agrarian laws were 
the property of the State. They were originally those Public 
Lands which had been the Domain of the Kings ; and which 
were increased whenever any city or people was conquered by 
the Romans, because it was an Italian practice to confiscate the 
lands of the conquered, in whole or in part, to the use and 
benefit of the conquering people. The Patrician Burgesses had 
occupied the greater part, if not all, of this Public Land. Now 
as this land chiefly consisted of pasturage, it was manifest that 
if the Plebeians could add to their small farms, which were 
mostly in tillage, the right of feeding cattle upon it, their means 
would \}e much increased, and they were likely to become much 
less dependent upon the rich Patrician Burgesses. 

Sp. Cassius proposed a law to distribute this land among 
the Plebeians. His services had been great ; his official power 
was great. The remembrance of the Secession to the Sacred 
Mount was yet fresh ; and the Agrarian Law, after passing the 
Centuriate Comitia, was not rejected by the Patrician Burgesses 
in their Curiae. They calculated that it would be more easy to 
thwart the execution of the law, than to prevent its being passed. 
And they calculated rightly. 

§ 3. But though the Patricians had yielded thus far, they only 
waited for an opportunity of vengeance. When Sp. Cassius laid 
down his Consulship, that opportunity arrived. It was said, 
that in the Leagues formed with the Latins and Hernicans, of 
which we shall speak in the next chapter, he had granted terms 
too favourable to these people, and was seeking to make himself 

Chap. VIII. SP. CASSIUS. 79 

despotic lord of Eome by means of foreigners, as Tarquin had 
done. It appears that there was some colour for this last accu- 
sation. But whether his views were simply ambitious, or whe- 
ther they were directed to the true interests of the community, 
the very name of King had become hateful to Eoman ears. Sp. 
Cassius was accused by Kaeso Fabius, then head of one of the 
most powerful patrician Gentes. He was tried, no doubt before 
a patrician court, found guilty, and condemned to die the death 
of a traitor. He was scourged and beheaded, and his house razed 
to the ground. 

§ 4. The Patricians were successful in impeding the execution 
of the Agrarian law of Cassius. Bat three years after, a Tribune 
named Maenius, declared that he would prevent the militia from 
being called out to take the field against the Volscian and iEquian 
foe, till this grievance was redressed. He offered, that is, in 
virtue of his protective powers, to secure any plebeian soldier 
against the power of the Consul, should he refuse to obey the 
order to give in his name for active service ; and another Tri- 
bune, named Licinius, renewed the same attempt in the next 
year. These first essays of their newly gained power were the 
origin of that tremendous intercessory force, which in later 
times was so freely exercised. At present the attempt proved 
an empty threat. The Consuls held their levy outside the walls 
of the city, where they possessed power of life and death, and 
where the Tribunes' protective power availed not. The next 
attempt of the plebeian chiefs was more successful. The Tri- 
bunes of the year 476 B.C. publicly indicted the Consul Menenius, 
son of him who had done good service to the state at the Seces- 
sion, for suffering the Fabian Gens to be overpowered by the 
Veientines, of which we shall speak presently ; and the Consul 
was condemned to pay a fine. At length, three years after (473), 
matters were brought to issue by the Tribune Genucius, who 
impeached the Consuls of the previous year for preventing the 
execution of the Agrarian law. Consternation prevailed among 
the Patricians. The condemnation of Menenius by the Centu- 
ries, notwithstanding the votes of the Clients, filled them with 
dismay ; and they resolved on striking a blow calculated to pre- 
vent such attempts in future. On the day of trial the Tribune 
appeared not. His friends sought him at home. He was found 
murdered in his chamber. 

§ 5. But the effect produced was contrary to expectation. The 
flame, which the Patricians expected to smother, was fanned to 
greater violence. The Consuls ordered a levy to take the field, 
confidently expecting tame submission. But when one Volero 
Publilius, who had served as a Centurion, was called out as a 


private soldier, he appealed to the Tribunes for protection. They 
hung back, terrified by the fate of Genucius. But Volero threw 
himself among his compatriots ; a tumult arose, and the Consuls 
were obliged to take refuge in the Senate-house. 

§ 6. Volero Publilius was chosen one of the Tribunes for the 
ensuing year ; and he straightway proposed a law, by which it 
was provided that the Tribunes and iEdiles of the Plebs should 
be elected by the Plebeians themselves at the Assembly of the 
Tribes in the Forum, not at the Assembly of the Centuries in 
the Field of Mars. This is usually called the Publilian law of 

§ 7. For a whole year the Patricians succeeded in putting oft 
the law. But the Plebeians were determined to have it. Volero 
was re-elected Tribune ; and C. Laetorius, a man of great resolu- 
tion, w T as chosen as his colleague : facts which show that in sea- 
sons of excitement the Plebeians were able to elect their own 
friends even before the first Publilian law. 

§ 8. The more violent among the Patricians now prepared to 
prevent this measure from being accepted by any means. App. 
Claudius, son of him whose haughty opposition had provoked 
the Secession to the Sacred Mount, had succeeded his father as 
the bitterest enemy of the Plebs, and was chosen Consul by his 
party. The law was again brought forward by the new Tri- 
bunes ; and the Consul, attended by his lictors, appeared at the 
Comitia of the Tribes to interrupt the proceedings. Laetorius 
ordered him to withdraw ; and a general riot followed, which 
was only stopped by the intervention of the other Consul. But 
the Tribunes were resolved to carry their law, and by a sudden 
movement they occupied the Capitol itself, and defied all the 
attacks of the Patricians. Appius proposed, as of old, to reduce 
them by force, but the milder counsels of his colleague prevailed, 
and the Patricians (by the authority of the Senate) passed the 
Publilian law. 

In the next year (470 B.C.) five Tribunes were elected by the 
Plebeians themselves, without let or hindrance from the Patri- 
cian Burgesses. Thus, no doubt, these officers became real pro- 
tectors of their brethren. But their powers were too large and 
unrestricted, and the fruits of the absolute veto which they 
afterwards learned to exercise will amply appear in the course 
of our subsequent narrative 

Tivoli, looking over tlie Campagna. 


TO THE DECEMVIRATE. (496 — 451 B.C.) 

§ 1. Great decrease of Roman power. §2. Vagueness in history- of Wars: 
famous Legends. § 3. Yolscian Wars : Legend of Coriolanus. §4. iEquian 
Wars : Legend of Cincinnatus. § 5. Veientine Wars : Legend of Fabian 
Gens. § 6. Leagues formed by Spurius Cassius with the Latins and Her- 
nicans the true barriers against iEqui and Volsci. § 7. Duration of Latin 

§ 1. While the two Orders were, thus engaged in struggling for 
rights and privileges in the City, they were hard pressed upon 
their frontiers by the Volscians and the iEquians. 

Nothing can show the decrease of Roman power more than the 
facts which are incidentally disclosed by this history. It appears 
that soon after the Secession, the Volscians, descending from 
their hills, had taken not only the remote Latin cities of Terra- 
cina, Circeii, Antium, Satricum ; but had also captured Lavinium, 
Corioli, Lavici, Pedum, and other cities within sight of Rome. 
The iEquians also pressed on from the north-east ; at one time 

e 3 


they were in possession of the citadel of Tusculum, and shut up 
the Roman Consul within the Roman territory. At the same 
time, the Etruscans of Veii, who had recovered the lands taken 
from them by Rome under the later Kings, continually appeared 
in force upon the opposite banks of the Tiber, and threatened 
the Janiculum. 

There are some famous legends connected with these three- 
fold wars, which cannot be omitted by any writer of Roman 
history. These are the legends of Coriolanus, of Cincinnatus, 
and of the Fabian Gens. The exact time to which they refer is 
uncertain ; nor is it material to determine this. 

§ 2. Legend of Coriolanus and the Volscians. 

Caius Marcius was a youth of high patrician family, descended 
from the Sabine king, Ancus Marcius ; and he was brought up by 
his mother Volumnia, a true Roman matron, noble and generous, 
proud and stern, implacable towards enemies, unforgiving towards 
the faults of friends. Caius grew up with all the faults and 
virtues of his mother, and was soon found among the chief op- 
ponents of the Plebeians. He won a civic crown of oak for 
saving a fellow-citizen at the battle of Lake Regillus, when he 
was seventeen years of age. But he gained his chief fame in the 
Volscian wars. For the Romans, being at war with this people, 
attacked Corioli, a Latin city which then had fallen into the 
hands of the Volscians. But the assailants were driven back by 
the garrison ; when Caius Marcius rallied the fugitives, turned 
upon his pursuers, and, driving them back in turn, entered the 
gates along with them ; and the city fell into the hands of the 
Romans, For this brave conduct he was named after the city 
which he had taken, Caius Marcius Coriolanus. 

Now it happened, after this, that the Roman people being 
much distressed by having their lands ravaged in war, and tillage 
being neglected, a great dearth ensued. Then Gelon, the Greek 
king of Syracuse, sent them ships laden with corn, to relieve the 
distress. It was debated in the Senate how this corn should be 
distributed. Some were for giving it away to the poorer sort ; 
some were for selling it at a low price ; but Coriolanus, who was 
greatly enraged at the concessions that had been made to the 
Plebeians, and hated to see them protected by their new officers, 
the Tribunes, spoke vehemently against these proposals, and 
said : Why do they ask us for corn ? They have got their Tri- 
bunes. Let them go back to the Sacred Hill, and leave us to 
rule alone. Or let them give up their Tribunes, and then they 
shall have the corn." This insolent language wrought up the 
Plebeians to a height of fury against Caius Marcius, and they 
w ould have torn him in pieces ; but their Tribunes persuaded 


them to keep their hands off ; and then cited him before the 
Comitia to give account of his conduct. The main body of 
the Patricians were not inclined to assist Coriolanus ; so, after 
some violent struggles, he declined to stand his trial, but left 
Rome, shaking the dust from his feet against his thankless 
countrymen (for so he deemed them), and vowing that they 
should bitterly repent of having driven Caius Marcius Coriolanus 
into exile. 

He went straight to Antium, another Latin city which had 
become the capital of the Volscians, and going to the house of 
Attus Tullius, one of the chief men of the nation, he seated him- 
self near the hearth by the household gods, a place which among 
the Italian nations was held sacred. When Tullius entered, the 
Roman rose and greeted his former enemy : "My name (he said) 
is Caius Marcius : my surname, Coriolanus — the only reward 
now remaining for all my services. I am an exile from Rome, 
my country ; I seek refuge in the house of my enemy. If ye 
will use my services, I will serve you well ; if you w r ou!d rather 
take vengeance on me, strike, I am ready." 

Tullius at once accepted the offer of the " banished lord f and 
determined to break the treaty which there then was between 
his people and the Romans. Rut the Volscians were afraid to 
go to war. So Tullius had recourse to fraud. It happened that 
one Titus Atinius, a Plebeian of Rome, was warned in a dream to 
go to the Consuls, and order them to celebrate the Great Games 
over again, because they had not been rightly performed the first 
time. But he was afraid and would not go. Then his sen fell 
sick and died ; and again he dreamt the same dream ; but still 
he would not go. Then he was himself stricken with palsy; 
and so he delayed no longer, but made his friends car; y him on 
a litter to the Consuls. And they believed his words, and the 
Great Games were begun again with increased pomp ; and many 
of the Volscians, being at peace with Rome, came to see them. 
Upon this Tullius went secretly to the Consuls, and told them 
that his countrymen were thronging to Rome, and he feared 
they had mischief in their thoughts. Then the Consuls laid this 
secret information before the Senate ; and the Senate decreed 
that all Volscians should depart from Rome before sunset. This 
decree seemed to the Volscians to be a wanton insult, and they 
went home in a rage. Tullius met them on their way home at 
the fountain of Ferentina, where the Latins had been wont to 
hold their councils of old ; and he spoke to them and increased 
their anger, and persuaded them to break off their treaty with 
the Romans. So the Volscians made war against Rome, and 


chose Attus Tullius and Caius Marcius the Roman to be their 

The army advanced against Rome, ravaging and laying waste 
all the lands of the Plebeians, but letting those of the Patricians 
remain untouched. This increased the jealousy between the 
Orders, and the Consuls found it impossible to raise an army to 
go out against the enemy. Coriolanus took one Latin town after 
another, and even the Volscians deserted their own general to 
serve under his banners. He now advanced and encamped at 
the Cluilian Foss, within five miles of the city. 

Nothing was now to be seen within the walls but consterna- 
tion and despair. The temples of the gods were filled with 
suppliants ; the Plebeians themselves pressed the Senate to make 
peace w 7 ith the terrible Coriolanus. Meantime the enemy ad- 
vanced to the very gates of the city, and at length the Senate 
agreed to send five men, chiefs among the Patricians, to turn 
away the anger of their countryman. He received them with 
the utmost sternness ; said that he was now general of the Vol- 
scians, and must do what was best for his new friends ; that if 
they wished for peace they must restore all the lands and places 
that had been taken from the Volscians, and must admit these 
people to an equal league, and put them on an equal footing with 
the Latins. The deputies could not accept these terms, so they 
returned to Rome. The Senate sent them back, to ask for 
milder terms ; but the haughty exile would not suffer them to 
enter his camp. 

Then went forth another deputation, graver and more solemn 
than the former, — the Pontiffs, Flamens, and Augurs, all attired 
in their priestly robes, who besought him, by all that he held 
sacred, by the respect he owed to his country's gods, to give 
them assurance of peace and safety. He treated them with 
grave respect, but sent them away without relaxing any of his 

It seemed as if the glory of Rome w r ere departing, as if the 
crown were about to be transferred to the cities of the Volscians. 
But not so was it destined to be. It chanced that as all the 
women were weeping and praying in the temples, the thought 
arose among them that they might effect what Patricians and 
Priests had alike failed to do. It was Valeria, the sister of the 
great Valerius Poplicola, who first started the thought, and she 
prevailed on Volumnia, the stern mother of the exile, to accom- 
pany the mournful train. With them also went Virgilia, his 
wife, leading her two boys by the hand, and a crowd of other 
women. Coriolanus beheld them from afar, as he was sitting on 


a raised seat among the Volscian chiefs, and resolved to send 
back them also with a denial. But when they came near, and 
he saw his mother at the head of the sad procession, he sprang 
from his seat, and was about to kiss her. But she drew back 
with all the loftiness of a Roman matron, and said — " Art thou 
Caius Marcius, and am I thy mother ? or art thou the general of 
the Volscian foe, and I a prisoner in his camp ? Before thou 
kissest me, answer me that question." Caius stood silent, and 
his mother went on : " Shall it be said that it is to me — to me 
alone — that Rome owes her conqueror and oppressor ? Had I 
never been a mother, my country had still been free. But I am 
too old to feel this misery long. Look to thy wife and little 
ones ; thou art enslaving thy country, and with it thou enslavest 
them." The fierce Roman's heart sunk before the indignant 
words of her whom he had feared and respected from his child- 
hood ; and when his wife and children hanging about him added 
their soft prayers to the lofty supplications of his mother, he 
turned to her with bitterness of soul, and said — " my mother, 
thou hast saved Rome, but lost thy son !" 

So he drew off his army, and the women went back to Rome 
and were hailed as the saviours of their country. And the 
Senate ordered a temple to be built and dedicated to " Woman's 
Fortune " (Fortuna Muliebris) ; and Valeria was the first priestess 
of the temple.* 

But Coriolanus returned to dwell among the Volscians ; and 
Tullius, who had before become jealous of his superiority, excited 
the people against him, saying that he had purposely spared their 
great enemy the city of Rome, even when it was within their 
grasp. So he lost favour, and was slain in a tumult ; and the 
words he had spoken to his mother were truly fulfilled. 

§ 4. Legend of Cincinnatus and the JEquians. 

In the course of these wars, Minucius, one of the Consuls, 
suffered himself to be cut off from Rome in a narrow valley of 
Mount Algidus, and it seemed as if hope of delivery there was 
none. However, five horsemen found means to escape and re- 
port at Rome the perilous condition of the Consul and his army. 
Then the other Consul consulted the Senate, and it was agreed 
that the only man who could deliver the army was L. Quinctius 
Cincinnatus. Therefore this man was named Dictator, and de- 
puties were sent to acquaint him with his high dignity. 

Now this Lucius Quinctius was called Cincinnatus, because he 
wore his hair in long curling locks (cincinrd) ; and, though he 
was a Patrician, he lived on his own small farm, like any plebeian 

* That of Fortuna Virilis had been built by Servius Tullius. 


yeoman. This farm was beyond the Tiber, and here he lived 
contentedly with his wife Eacilia. 

Two years before he had been Consul, and had been brought 
into great distress by the conduct of his son Kseso, a wild and 
insolent young man, who despised the Plebeians and hated their 
Tribunes, like Coriolanus. Like Coriolanus, he was impeached 
by the Tribunes, but on very different grounds. One Volscius 
Fictor alleged that he and his brother, an old and sickly man, 
had been attacked by Keeso and a party of young Patricians by 
night in the Suburra ; his brother had died of the treatment 
then received. The indignation of the people rose high ; and 
Kseso, again like Coriolanus, was forced to go into exile. After 
this the young Patricians became more insolent than ever, but 
they T courted the poorest of the people, hoping to engage them 
on their side against the more respectable Plebeians. Next year 
all Rome was alarmed by finding that the Capitol had been 
seized by an enemy during the night. This enemy was Appius 
Herdonius, a Sabine, and with him was associated a band of 
desperate men, exiles and runaway slaves. The first demand he 
made was that all Roman exiles should be restored. The consul, 
P. Valerius, collected a force, and took the Capitol. But he was 
himself killed in the assault, and L. Quinctius Cincinnatus, 
father of the banished Kaeso, was chosen to succeed him. When 
he heard the news of his elevation, he turned to his wife and 
said, — " I fear, Eacilia, our little field must remain this year un- 
sown." Then he assumed the robe of state, and went to Rome. 
Now it was believed that Kaeso had been concerned in the 
desperate enterprise that had just been defeated. What had 
become of him was unknown ; but that he was already dead is 
pretty certain ; and his father was very bitter against the Tri- 
bunes and their party, to whom he attributed his son's disgrace 
and death. P. Valerius, the Consul, had persuaded the Plebeians 
to join in the assault of the Capitol, by promising to gain them 
further privileges : this promise Cincinnatus refused to keep, and 
used all his power to frustrate the attempts of the Tribunes to 
gain its fulfilment. At the end of his year of office, however, 
when the Patricians wished to continue him in the consulship,' 
he positively declined the offer, and returned to his rustic life as 
if he had never left it. 

It was two years after these events, that the deputies of the 
Senate, who came to invest him with the ensigns of dictatorial 
power, found him working on his little farm. He was clad in 
his tunic only ; and as the deputies advanced, they bade him put 
on his toga, that he might receive the commands of the Senate 
in seemly guise. So he wiped off the dust and sweat, the signs 


of labour, and bade his wife fetch his toga, and asked anxiously 
whether all was right or no. Then the deputies told him how 
the army was beset by the iEquian foe, and how the Senate 
looked to him as the saviour of the state. A boat was provided 
to carry him over the Tiber ; and when he reached the other 
bank, he was greeted by the Senate, who followed him to the 
City, while he himself walked in state, with his four-and-twenty 

Cincinnatus then chose L. Tarquitius as his Master of the 
Horse. This man was a Patrician, but, like the Dictator himself, 
was poor, so poor, that he could not afford to keep a horse, but 
was obliged to serve among the foot -soldiers. 

That same day the Dictator and his Master of the Horse came 
down into the Forum, ordered all shops to be shut, and all busi- 
ness to be suspended. All men of the military age were to meet 
them in the Field of Mars before sunset, each man with five days' 
provisions and twelve stakes ; the older men were to see to the 
provisions, while the soldiers were preparing the stakes. Thus 
all was got ready in time : the Dictator led them forth, and 
they marched so rapidly that by midnight they had reached 
Mount Algidus, where the army of the Consul was hemmed in. 

Then the Dictator, when he had discovered the place of the 
enemy's army, ordered his men to put all their baggage down in 
one place, and then to surround the enemy's camp. They 
obeyed, and each one raising a shout, began digging the trench 
and fixing his stakes, so as to form a palisade round the enemy. 
The Consul's army, which was hemmed in, heard the shout of 
their brethren, and flew to arms ; and so hotly did they fight all 
night, that the iEquians had no time to attend to the new foe, 
and next morning they found themselves hemmed in on all sides 
by the trench and palisade, so that they were now between two 
Roman armies. They were thus forced to surrender. The 
Dictator required them to give up their chiefs, and made their 
whole army pass under the yoke, which was formed by two 
spears fixed upright in the ground, and a third bound across 
them at the top. 

Cincinnatus returned to Rome amid the shouts and exultation 
of his soldiers : they gave him a golden crown, in token that he 
had saved the lives of many citizens ; and the Senate decreed 
that he should enter the city in triumph. 

So Cincinnatus accomplished the purpose for which he had 
been made Dictator in twenty-four hours. One evening he 
marched forth to deliver the Consul, and the next evening he 
returned victorious. 

But he would not lay down his high office till he had avenged 


his son Kgeso. Accordingly he summoned Volscius Fictor, the 
accuser, and had him tried for perjury. The man was con- 
demned and banished ; and then Cincinnatus once more returned 
to his wife and farm. 

§ 5, Legend of the Fabian Gens and the Veientines. 

It has already been related that, after the final expulsion of the 
Tarquins, the Patricians withdrew from the Plebeians those 
rights which they had originally obtained from King Servius, 
and which had been renewed and confirmed to them during the 
time that the Tarquins were endeavouring to return. And for 
a number of years it appears that the Fabii engrossed a great 
share of this power to themselves. For we find in the lists of 
Consuls that for seven years running (from 485 to 479 B.C.), one 
of the two Consuls was always a Fabius. Now these Fabii were 
the chief opponents of the Agrarian Law ; and Kseso Fabius, who 
was three times Consul in the said seven years, was the person 
who procured the condemnation of Sp. Cassius, the great friend 
of the Plebeians. This Raeso, in his second Consulship, found 
himself as unpopular as Appius Claudius. His soldiers refused 
to fight against the enemy. But in his third Consulship, which 
fell in the last of the seven years, he showed an altered spirit, 
he and all his house. For the Fabii saw the injustice they had 
been guilty of towards the Plebeians, and the injury they had 
been doing to the state ; and Kaeso himself came forward, and 
proposed that the Agrarian Law of Sp. Cassius should be carried 
into full effect. But the Patricians rejected the proposal with 
scorn ; and so the whole Fabian Gens determined to leave Rome 
altogether. They thought they could serve their country better 
by warring against the Veientines than by remaining at home. 
So they assembled together on the Quirinal Hill, in all three 
hundred and six men, besides their clients and followers, and 
they passed under the Capitol, and went out of the city by the 
right-hand arch of the Carmental gate.* They then crossed the 
Tiber, and marked out a place on the little river Cremera, which 
flows into the Tiber below Veii. Here they fortified a camp $ 
and sallied forth to ravage the lands of the Veientines and drive 
their cattle. 

So they stood between Rome and Veii for more than a year's 
time, and the Romans had peace on that side, whereas the 
Veientines suffered greatly. But there was a certain day, the 
Ides of February, which was always held sacred by the Fabii, 
when they offered solemn sacrifices on the Quirinal Hill, to the 

* Called the right Janus or Janua. So Ovid says (Fasti, ii. 201):— 
" Oarmenti Porta? dextro via proxima Jano est : 
Ire per hanc noli quisquis es : omen habet." 


gods of their Gens. On this day, Kseso, their chief, led them 
forth for Rome ; and the Veientines, hearing of it, laid an ambush 
for them, and they were all cut off. And the Plebeians greatly 
mourned the loss of their patrician friends, and Menenius, the 
Consul, who was encamped near at hand, but did not assist 
them, was accused by the Tribunes of treacherously betraying 
them, as has been above recorded.* 

But one young Fabius, who was then a boy, was left behind at 
Rome when the rest of his Gens went forth to settle on the 
Cremera. And he (so it was said) was the father of the Fabii 
who were afterwards so famous in the history of Rome. 

After this, it is said, the men of Veii asked and obtained a 
peace of forty years. 

§ 6. The patrician minstrels who sang of Coriolanus and Cin- 
cinnatus left unnoticed the deeds of Sp. Cassius. But not the 
less may we be sure that it was he who stemmed the tide of 
conquest of the Latins and Hernicans, and saved Latium from 
the dominion of these Oscan tribes. It is recorded that he 
formed Leagues with both these nations. The first of these 
Leagues was made in his second Consulship (b.c. 493), the 
second in his third (b.c. 486). It was stipulated by the first 
that the people of Rome and Latium should form a combined 
army for the purpose of repelling the invader ; their Legions 
were united under the same forms, and in like manner ; and it 
is probable that in one year a Roman Consul, in another a Latin 
Dictator, took the supreme command. The League with the 
Hernicans was probably of a less intimate nature. In both it 
seems to have been agreed that all lands taken from the enemy 
should be shared alike by the combined nations. From the 
time of these Leagues we may date the declining power of the 
Volscians and iEquians, who had one time overrun Latium, and 
presented themselves before the walls of Rome. Velitrae, An- 
tium, Satricum, and other places were recovered ; and to Antium 
a colony was sent to restore its wasted population. 

§ 7. The League formed by Spurius Cassius with the Latins, 
cemented by common interest and common danger, remained 
unaltered till the Gauls broke into Latium, and by their furious 
onslaught confounded all that existed of order and association. 
The formation of an alliance which lasted unbroken for more 
than a century, and which then gave way under the pressure 
of an unforeseen calamity, speaks of no ordinary foresight on 
the part of him who formed it. Yet this act was, as we have 
seen, turned into an article of impeachment against Spurius 

* Chapt. viii. § 4. t Chapt. ™i. § 3. 

Castor and Pollux. 



(470—449 B.C.) 


§ 1. Progress of Plebeians : Colony of Antium : impeachment of second Appius. 
§ 2. Great pestilence. § 3. Reform-bill of Terentilius Harsa. § 4. Violent 
scenes at Rome. § 5. Compromise : Triumvirs appointed to report upon 
Laws of Solon at Athens. § 6. Public Land on the Aventine parcelled out 
among Plebeians. § 7. Return of Triumviri. § 8. Appointment of De- 
cemviri : their functions: third Appius Claudius their chief. § 9. Ten 
Tables completed. § 10. Resignation of first Decemvirs: successors elected, 
including Appius. § 11. Change in bearing of Appius: despotism of new 
Decemvirs. § 12. Two Tables added to Code. § 13. Appius and col- 
leagues retain office for a second year. § 14. Wars break out with iEquians 
and Sabines. § 15. Legend of Siccius Dentatus. § 16. Legend of Vir- 
ginia, § 17. Second Secession to Mons Sacer: Decemvirs resign. § 18. 
L. Valerius and M. Horatius sent to negotiate between Senate and Plebeians: 
Ten Tribunes elected. § 19. Restoration of Consulship: Valerius and 
Horatius elected. § 20. Valerio-Horatian Laws. § 21. Triumph of new 
Consuls over Sabines and iEquians. § 22. Appias impeached and dies in 
prison : Appius executed : the rest pardoned. § 23. Attempt to re-elect 
Consuls and Tribunes. § 24. The Twelve Tables. § 25. Useful enactments 
§ 26. Iniquitous provisions. 

§ 1. It has been shown how the Patrician Burgesses endeavoured 
to wrest independence from the Plebs after the battle of Lake 
Kegillus ; and how the latter, ruined by constant wars with the 
neighbouring nations, compelled to make good their losses by 
borrowing money from patrician creditors, and liable to become 
bondsmen in default of payment, at length deserted the City, and 
returned only on condition of being protected by Tribunes of 
their own ; and how, lastly, by the firmness of Publilius Volero 
and Lcetorius, they obtained the right of electing these Tribunes 


at their own assembly, the Comitia of the Tribes. It has also 
been shown that the Great Consul Spurius Cassius endeavoured 
to relieve the commonalty by an Agrarian law so as to better 
their condition permanently. 

The execution of the Agrarian law of Sp. Cassius had been 
constantly evaded, till, on the conquest of Antium from the 
Volscians in the year 468 B.C., a Colony was sent thither; and 
this was one of the first examples of a distribution of Public 
Land to poorer citizens, which answered two purposes — the im- 
provement of their condition, and the defence of the place against 
the enemy. 

Nor did the Tribunes, now altogether independent of the 
Patricians, fail to assert their power. One of the first persons 
who felt the force of their arm was the second Appius Claudius. 
This Sabine noble, following his father's example, had led the 
opposition to the Publilian law. When he took the field against 
the Volscians (471 B.C.), his soldiers would not fight ; and the 
stern commander put to death every tenth man in his legions. 
Next year he was foremost in opposing the Agrarian Law, and 
was brought to trial by the Tribunes. Seeing that condemnation 
was certain, the proud Patrician avoided humiliation by suicide. 

§ 2. Nevertheless the border-wars still continued, and the Ple- 
beians still suffered much. To the evils of debt and want were 
added about this time the horrors of pestilential disease. In one 
year (b.c. 463) the two Consuls, two of the four Augurs, and the 
Curio Maximus, who was the Head of all the Patricians, were 
swept off: a fact which implies the death of a vast number of less 
distinguished persons. The government was administered *by 
the Plebeian iEdiles, under the control of senatorial Interreges. 
The Volscians and iEquians ravaged the country up to the walls 
of Rome ; and the safety of the city must be attributed to the 
Latins and Hernicans, not to the men of Eome. 

§ 3. Meantime the Tribunes in vain demanded a full execution 
of the Agrarian law. But in the year 462 B.C., one of the Sacred 
College, by name C. Terentilius Harsa, came forward with a Bill, 
of which the object was to give the Plebeians a surer footing in 
the state. This man perceived that as long as the Consuls 
retained their almost despotic power, and were elected by the 
influence of the Patricians, this Order had it in their power tc 
thwart all measures which tended to advance the interests of the 
Plebeians. He therefore no longer demanded the execution of 
the Agrarian law, but proposed that a Commission of Ten Men 
(decemviri) should be appointed to draw up laws for regulating 
the future relations of the Patricians and Plebeians. 

§ 4. The Reform Bill of Terentilius was, as might be supposed, 


vehemently resisted by the Patrician Burgesses. But the Ple- 
beians supported their champion no less warmly. For five con- 
secutive years the same Tribunes were re-elected, and in vain 
endeavoured to carry the Bill. This was the time which least 
fulfils the character which we have claimed for the Roman 
people — patience and self-control. To prevent the Tribunes 
from carrying their law, the younger Patricians thronged to the 
Assemblies, and interfered with all proceedings ; Terentilius, 
they said, was endeavouring to confound all distinction between 
the Orders. Scenes occurred which show that both sides were 
prepared for civil war. 

In the year 460 B.C. the city was alarmed by hearing that the 
Capitol had been seized by a band of Sabines and exiled Romans, 
under the command of one Herdonius, as related in the preceding 
chapter. Who these exiles were is uncertain. But we have 
seen, in the legend of Cincinnatus, that Kseso Quinctius, the son 
of that old hero, was an exile. It has been inferred, therefore, 
that he was among them, that the Tribunes had succeeded in 
banishing from the city the most violent of their opponents, 
and that these persons had not scrupled to associate themselves 
with Sabines to recover their homes. The Consul Valerius, 
aided by the Latins of Tusculum, levied an army to attack the 
insurgents, on condition that the law should be fully considered. 
The exiles were driven out, and Herdonius was killed. But the 
Consul fell ; and the Patricians, led by old Cincinnatus, refused 
to fulfil his promises. 

Then followed the iEquian invasion, to which the legend of 
Cincinnatus, as given above, refers. The stern old man used his 
dictatorial power as much to crush the Tribunes at home, as to 
conquer the enemies abroad. 

One of the historians tells us that in this period of seditious 
violence, many of the leading Plebeians were assassinated, as the 
Tribune Genucius had been. It seemed as if Rome was to be- 
come the city of discord, not of law. Happily there were mode- 
rate men in both Orders. Now, as at the time of the Secession, 
their voices prevailed, and, after different attempts, a compromise 
was arranged. 

§ 5. The first attempt ended in the consent of the Senate to 
increase the number of the Tribunes from five to ten (457 B.C.) ; 
and in the eighth year after the first promulgation of the Teren- 
tilian law (454 B.C.), a further concession was made. The law 
itself was no longer pressed by the Tribunes. The Patricians, on 
the other hand, so far gave way as to allow Three Men (triumviri) 
to be appointed, who were to travel into Greece, and bring back 
a copy of the laws of Solon, as well as the laws and institutes 
of any other Greek states, which they might deem good and 


useful. These were to be the groundwork of a new Code of 
Laws, such as should give fair and equal rights to both Orders, 
and restrain the arbitrary power of the Patrician Magistrates. 

§ 6. Another concession made by the Patrician Lords was a 
small instalment of the Agrarian law. L. Icilius, Tribune of the 
Plebs, proposed that all the Aventine Hill, being Public Land, 
should be made over to the Plebs, to be their quarter for ever, 
as the other hills were occupied by the Patricians and their 
Clients. After some opposition, the Patricians suffered this 
Icilian law to pass, in hopes of soothing the anger of the Ple- 
beians. The land was parcelled out into building- sites. But as 
there was not enough to give a separate plot to every plebeian 
householder that wished to live in the city, one allotment was 
assigned to several persons, who built a joint house in flats or 
stories, each of which was inhabited (as in Edinburgh and in 
most foreign towns) by a separate family.* 

§ 7. The three men who had been sent into Greece returned 
in the third year (452 B.C.). They found the City free from 
domestic strife, partly from the concessions already made, partly 
from expectation of what was now to follow, and partly from the 
effect of pestilence, which had broken out anew. 

§ 8. So far did moderate counsels now prevail among the 
Patricians, that after some little delay they agreed to suspend the 
ordinary government by the Consuls and other officers, and in 
their stead to appoint a Council of Ten, who were during their 
existence to be entrusted with all the functions of government. 
But they were to have a double duty : they were not only an 
administrative, but also a legislative council. On the one hand, 
they were to conduct the government, administer justice, and 
command the armies. On the other, they were to draw up a 
Code of Laws, by which equal justice was to be dealt out to the 
whole Roman People, to Patricians and Plebeians alike, and by 
which especially the authority to be exercised by the Consuls, or 
chief magistrates, was to be clearly determined and settled. 

The supreme Council of Ten, or Decemvirs, was first appointed 
in the year 451 B.C. They were all Patricians. At their head 
stood Appius Claudius and T. Genucius, who had already been 
chosen Consuls for this memorable year. This Appius Claudius, 
the third of his name, was son and grandson of those two patri- 
cian chiefs who had opposed the leaders of the Plebeians so 
vehemently in the matter of the tribunate. But he affected a 
different conduct from his sires. He was the most popular 
man of the whole council, and became in fact the sovereign of 

* These houses, or blocks of houses, jointly occupied by several families, 
were in Roman phrase called insulce (the term isola is still so used), while the 
term domus was restricted to the mansion occupied by a single wealthy famiiv 


Rome, At first he used his great power well; and the first 
year's government of the Decemvirs was famed for justice and 


§ 9. They applied themselves diligently to their great work of 
law-making ; and before the end of the year, had drawn up a 
Code of Ten Tables, which were posted in the Forum, that all 
citizens might examine them, and suggest amendments to the 
Decemvirs. After due time thus spent, the Ten Tables were 
confirmed and made law at the Comitia of the Centuries. By 
this Code equal justice was to be administered to both Orders 
(vithout distinction of persons. 

§ 10. At the close of the year, the first Decemvirs laid down 
their office, just as the Consuls and other officers of state had 
been accustomed to do before. They were succeeded by a 
second set of ten, who for the next year at least were to conduct 
the government like their predecessors (450 B.C.) The only one 
of the old Decemvirs re-elected was Appius Claudius. The 
Patricians, indeed, endeavoured to prevent even this, and to this 4 " 
end he was himself appointed to preside at the new elections ; 
for it was held impossible for a chief magistrate to return his 
own name when he was himself presiding. But Appius scorned 
precedents. He returned himself as elected, together with nine 
others, men of no name, while two of the great Quinctian Gens 
who offered themselves were rejected. 

Of the new Decemvirs, it is certain that three, and it is pro- 
bable that five, were Plebeians.* Appius, with the plebeian 
Oppius, held the judicial office, and remained in the city; and 
these two seem to have been regarded as the chiefs. T?he other 
eight commanded the armies and discharged the duties previouly 
assigned to the Qusestors and iEdiles., 

§11. The first Decemvirs had earned the respect and esteem 
of their fellow-citizens. The new Council of Ten deserved the 
hatred which has ever since cloven to their name. Appius now 
threw off the mask which he had so long worn, and assumed his 
natural character — the same as had distinguished his sire and 
grandsire of unhappy memory. He became an absolute despot. 
His brethren in the Council offered no hindrance to his will ; 
even the plebeian Decemvirs, bribed by power, fell into his way 
of action and supported his tyranny. They each had twelve 
lictors, who carried fasces with the axes in them, the symbol of 
absolute power, as in the times of the Kings ; so that it was said, 
Rome had now ten Tarquins instead of one, and 120 armed 
lictors instead of 12. All freedom of speech ceased. The Senate 

* Sp. Oppius, Q. Pcetelius, C. Duillius, certainly; M. Rabuleius, T. Antonius 
Merenda, probably. 


was seldom called together. The leading men, Patricians and 
Plebeians, left the City. The outward aspect of things was that 
of perfect cairn and peace; but an opportunity only was wanting 
for the discontent which was smouldering in all men's hearts to 
break out and show itself. 

§ 12. Before the end of the year the Decemvirs had by their 
own edict added two more Tables to the Code, so that there 
were now Twelve Tables. But these two last were of a most 
oppressive and arbitrary kind, devoted chiefly to restore the 
ancient privileges of the patrician caste. 

§ 13. It was, no doubt, expected that the second Decemvirs 
also would have held Comitia for the election of successors. But 
Appius and his colleagues showed no such intention ; and when 
the year came to a close, they continued to hold office as if they 
had beon re-elected. 

§ 14. In the course of this next year (449 B.C.), the border wars 
were renewed. On the north the Sabines, and the iEquians 
on the north-east, invaded the Roman country at the same time. 
The latter penetrated as far as Mount Algidus, as formerly 
when they were routed by old Cincinnatus. The Decemvirs 
probably, like the Patrician Burgesses in former times, regarded 
these inroads not without satisfaction ; for they turned away the 
mind of the Plebeians from their* sufferings at home. Yet from 
these very wars sprung the events which overturned the power 
of the Decemvirs and destroyed themselves. 

Two armies were levied, one to check the Sabines, the other 
to oppose the iEquians, and these were commanded by the mi- 
litary Decemvirs. Appius and Oppius remained to administer 
affairs at home. But there was no spirit in the armies. Both 
were defeated ; and that which was opposed to the iEquians was 
compelled to take refuge within the walls of Tusculum. 

Then followed two events, which are preserved in well-known 
legends, and which give the popular narrative of the manner in 
which the power of the Decemvirs was overthrown. 

§ 15. Legend of Siccius Dentatus. — In the army sent against 
the Sabines, Siccius Dentatus was known as the bravest man. 
He was then serving as a centurion ; he had fought in 120 
battles ; he had slain eight champions in single combat ; had 
saved the lives of fourteen citizens ; had received forty wounds, 
all in front ; had followed in nine triumphal processions ; and 
had won crowns and decorations without number. This gallant 
veteran had taken an active part in the civil contests between 
the two orders, and was now suspected by the Decemvirs 
commanding the Sabine army, of plotting against them. Accoru- 


ingly, they determined to get rid of him ; and for this end they 
sent him out, as if to reconnoitre, with a party of soldiers, who 
were secretly instructed to murder him. Having discovered 
their design, he set his back against a rock, and resolved to sell 
his life dear. More than one of his assailants fell, and the rest 
stood at bay around him, not venturing to come within swords 
length ; when one wretch climbed up the rock behind and 
crushed the brave old man with a massive stone. But the 
manner of his death could not be kept hidden from the army ; 
and the generals only prevented an outbreak by honouring him 
with a magnificent funeral. 

Such was the state of things in the Sabine army. 

§ 16. Legend of Virginia. — The other army had a still grosser 
outrage to complain of. In this, also, there was a notable 'cen- 
turion, Virginius by name. His daughter Virginia, just ripening 
into womanhood, beautiful as the day, was betrothed to L. 
Icilius, the Tribune who had carried the law for allotting the 
Aventine Hill to the Plebeians. Appius Claudius, the Decemvir, 
saw her and lusted to make her his own. And with this view, 
he ordered one of his clients, M. Claudius by name, to lay hands 
upon her as she was going to her school in the Forum, and to 
claim her as his slave. The man did so ; and when the cries of 
her nurse brought a crowd round them, M. Claudius insisted 
on taking her before the Decemvir, in order (as he said) to have 
the case fairly tried. Her friends consented ; and no sooner had 
Appius heard the matter, than he gave judgment that the 
maiden should be delivered up to the claimant, who should be 
bound to produce her in case her alleged father appeared to gain- 
say the claim. Now this judgment was directly against one of 
the laws of the Twelve Tables, which Appius himself had framed : 
for therein it was provided, that any person being at freedom 
should continue free, till it was proved that such person was a 
slave. Icilius therefore, with Numitorius the uncle of the 
maiden, boldly argued against the legality of the judgment ; and 
at length Appius, fearing a tumult, agreed to leave the girl in 
their hands, on condition of their giving bail to bring her before 
him next morning : and then, if Virginius did not appear, he 
would at once (he said) give her up to her pretended master. 
To this Icilius consented ; but he delayed giving bail, pretending 
that he could not procure it readily ; and in the mean time he 
sent off a secret message to the camp on Algidus, to inform Vir- 
ginius of what had happened. As soon as the bail was given, 
Appius also sent a message to the Decemvirs in command of that 
army, ordering them to refuse leave of absence to Virginius. 


But when this last message arrived, Virginius was already half- 
way on his road to Rome ; for the distance was not more than 
twenty miles, and he had started at nightfall. 

Next morning early, Virginius entered the Forum leading his 
daughter by the hand, both clad in mean attire. A great number 
of friends and matrons attended him ; and he went about among 
the people, entreating them to support him against the tyranny 
of Appius. So when Appius came to take his place on the 
judgment-seat, he found the Forum full of people, all friendly to 
Virginius and his cause. But he inherited the boldness as well 
as the vices of his sires, and though he saw Virginius standing 
there, ready to prove that he was the maiden's father, he at once 
gave judgment against his own law, that Virginia should be 
given up to M. Claudius, till it should be proved that she was 
free.* The wretch came up to seize her, and the lictors kept 
the people from him. Virginius, now despairing of deliverance, 
begged Appius to allow him to ask the maiden whether she were 
indeed his daughter or no. " If," said he, " I find I am not her 
father, I shall bear her loss the lighter." Under this pretence 
he drew her aside to a spot upon the northern side of the Forum 
(afterwards called the Novse Tabernae), and here, snatching up a 
knife from a butcher's stall, he cried : " In this way only can I 
keep thee free ;" and so saying, stabbed her to the heart. Then 
he turned to the tribunal and said : " On thee, Appius, and on 
thy head be this blood." Appius cried out to seize " the mur- 
derer :" but the crowd made way for Virginius, and he passed 
through them holding up the bloody knife, and went out at the 
gate and made straight for the army. There, when the soldiers 
had heard his tale, they at once abandoned their decemviral 
generals, and marched to Rome. They were soon followed by 
the other army from the Sabine frontier ; for to them Icilius 
had gone, and Numitorius ; and they found willing ears among 
men who were already enraged by the murder of old Siccius 
Dentatus. So the two armies joined their banners, elected new 
generals, and encamped upon the Aventine Hill, the quarter of 
the Plebeians. 

Meantime, the people at home had risen against Appius ; and, 
after driving him from the Forum, they joined their armed fellow- 
citizens upon the Aventine. There the whole body of the com- 
mons, armed and unarmed, hung like a dark cloud ready to burst 
upon the city. 

* This was called vindicias in scrvitutcm dare. Vindex was the legal term 
for claimant; vindicias was the claim to possession. The opposite judgment 
was vindicias in libertatcm dare. The person who claimed another as slave or 
free was said asserere aliquem in servitutem, or in libertatem. 



§17. Whatever may be the truth of the legends of Siccius and 
Virginia, there can be no doubt that the conduct of the Decem- 
virs had brought matters to the verge of civil war. At this 
juncture the Senate met ; and the moderate party so far pre- 
vailed as to send their own leaders, M. Horatius Barbatus and L 
Valerius Potitus, to negotiate with the insurgents. The Plebeians 
were ready to listen to the voices of these men ; for they remem- 
bered that the Consuls of the first year of the Republic, when 
the Patrician Burgesses were friends to the Plebeians, were named 
Valerius and Horatius ; and so they appointed M. Duillius, a 
former Tribune, to be their spokesman. But no good came of 
it. And Duillius persuaded the Plebeians to leave the city, and 
once more to occupy the Sacred Mount. 

Then remembrances of the great Secession came back upon 
the minds of the Patricians; and the Senate, observing the 
calm and resolute bearing of the plebeian leaders, compelled the 
Decemvirs to resign, and sent back Valerius and Horatius to 
negotiate anew. 

§ 18. The leaders of the Plebeians demanded : — 1st, That the 
Tribuneship should be restored, and the Comitia Tributa recog- 
nised. 2ndly, That a right of appeal to the People against the 
power of the supreme magistrate should be secured. Hrdly, 
That full indemnity should be granted to the movers and pro- 
moters of the late Secession. 4thly, That the Decemvirs should 
be burnt alive. 

. Of these demands the deputies of the Senate agreed to the 
three first : but the fourth, they said, was unworthy of a free 
people ; it was a piece of tyranny, as bad as any of the worst 
acts of the late government ; and it was needless, because any 
one who had reason of complaint against the late Decemvirs 
might proceed against them according to law. The Plebeians 
listened to these words of wisdom, and withdrew their savage 
demand. The other three were confirmed by the Fathers, and the 
Plebeians returned to their quarters on the Aventine. Here 
they held an Assembly according to their Tribes, in which the 
Pontifex Maximus presided ; * and they elected Ten Tribunes — 
first Virginius, Numitorius, and Icilius, then Duillius and six 
others : so full were their minds of the wrong done to the 
daughter of Virginius ; so entirely was it the blood of young 
Virginia that overthrew the Decemvirs, even as that of Lucrecia 
had driven out the Tarquins. 

§ 19. The Plebeians had now returned to the city, headed by 

* Usually, the Tribunes themselves conducted the business of the Comitia 
Tributa. But at present there were no Tribunes. 


their ten Tribunes, a number which was never again altered so 
long as the tribunate continued in existence. It remained for 
the Patricians to redeem the pledges given by their agents 
Valerius and Horatius. 

The first thing to settle was the election of the supreme magis- 
trates. The Decemvirs had fallen, and the state was without 
any executive government. 

It has been supposed, as we have above said, that the govern- 
ment of the Decemvirs was intended to be perpetual. The 
Patricians gave up their Consuls, and the Plebeians their Tri- 
bunes, on condition that each order was to be admitted to an 
equal share in the new decemviral college. But the Tribunes 
were now restored in augmented number, and it was but natural 
that the Patricians should insist on again occupying all places in 
the supreme magistracy. By common consent, as it would seem, 
the Comitia of the Centuries met, and elected to the consulate 
the two Patricians who had shown themselves the friends of both 
Orders — L. Valerius Potitus, and M. Horatius Barbatus. 

Properly speaking, these were the first Consuls, though (in 
accordance with common custom) this name has been used to 
designate the supreme magistrates from the beginning of the 
Republic. But we learn that before the year 449 B.C. these 
officers were known by the name of Praetors. Strictly, there- 
fore, Valerius and Horatius were the first Consuls. 

§ 20. As soon as they were installed in office they proceeded 
to redeem the pledges they had given by bringing forward popu- 
lar laws, from them commonly called the Valerio-Horatian 
L \ws. 

(1.) First, they solemnly renewed the old law of Valerius Pop- 
licola, by which it was provided that every Roman citizen should 
have an Appeal to the People against the power of the supreme 
magistrate. This had been sanctioned by the Ten Tables of the 
Decemvirs, and some remarks on the nature of the right will be 
found further on. It must here be noticed that probably the 
" People " designated in the old law of Poplicola was the Assembly 
of Patrician Burgesses, whereas now it meant the general As- 
sembly of the Centuries. 

To the law as proposed by the Consuls, the Tribune Duillius 
added the terrible penalty already threatened to the Decemvirs 
that " whoso transgressed it should be burnt alive." 

(2.) Secondly, it was enacted that the Assembly of the Tribes 
should receive legislative power, and their measures should, like 
the laws passed at the Centuriate Comitia, have authority over 
the whole body of citizens — Patricians and Plebeians. Hitherto 
the Plebi-scita, or Resolutions of the Plebs, had been made 

f 2 


merely for regulating their own affairs, and had not the force 
of law. Henceforth they became laws binding on all the Body 

§ 21. The second of these laws soon showed itself in operation. 
It will be remembered that two armies had been sent by the 
Decemvirs to meet the Sabines and the iEquians in the field. 
When these armies marched to Rome to take vengeance upon 
Appius and his colleagues, the enemy was left to pursue their 
ravages unchecked, except by the Latins and Hernicans. The 
new Consuls now held a levy. Names were willingly given in, 
and they were soon ready to take the field at the head of men 
devoted to them for their good services. Victories were gained ; 
but when Valerius and Horatius returned at the head of their 
troops, and halted in the Campus Martins (according to custom), 
that they might enter the city in triumphal procession, the 
Senate refused them this honour. Upon- this, L. Icilius, Tri- 
bune of the Plebs, obtained a vote from the people assembled in 
their Tribes, by which it was ordained that the friends of the 
Plebs should enjoy their triumph in despite of senatorial ill-will ; 
and the Senate saw themselves compelled to give way. 

§ 22. Meanwhile the Decemvirs had been left personally un- 
molested ; but Virginius, now a Tribune, singled out Appius as 
the chief offender, and impeached him. The proud Patrician 
scorned submission, and descended into the forum, surrounded 
by a crowd of young men of his own order. Virginius ordered 
him to be arrested, and refused to hold him to bail unless he 
could prove " that he had not assigned Virginia into bondage till 
she was proved free." This was impossible, and he was thrown 
into prison to await his trial before the assembled people. But 
to such degradation he could not stoop ; and, like his father, he 
put an end to his own life in prison. » 

Then Sp. Oppius, the chief among the Plebeian Decemvirs, the 
friend and imitator of Appius the Patrician, was accused by Nu- 
mitorius, and executed. The goods of both were confiscated to 
the state (publicata sunt). But when some of the plebeian 
leaders would have gone on to impeach the other Decemvirs, 
then M. Duillius, the Tribune, came forward, and by his powe: 
of veto stayed all further proceedings. "Enough had been done," 
he said, 'Ho vindicate justice and uphold freedom. Further 
punishments would bear the semblance of revenge, and make it 
still more difficult to reconcile the two orders." Happy the 
people which has leaders who in the heat and tumult of triumph 

* * The terms of the enactment, as given by Livy, are : — " Ut quod tributim 
plebes jussisset, populum teneret." 


can gain even greater honours by moderation, than by the firm- 
ness displayed in the conduct of the struggle. 

§ 23. In all these proceedings no security had yet been taken 
for the election of Consuls more favourable to plebeian claims. 
The late refusal of the Senate to authorise the triumph of Vale- 
rius and Horatius, and the zeal of the young Patricians to obtain 
the acquittal of Appitis, were not encouraging signs for future 
peace. The more ardent of the plebeian leaders, therefore, pro- 
posed that the Consuls and Tribunes now in office should be 
continued without re-election for the succeeding year. But, 
with the moderation that had marked all their proceedings, the 
Consuls declined this honour for themselves ; and Duillius the 
Tribune, on his part, declared that he would not receive any 
votes tendered for reappointing himself or any of his present 
colleagues. But many of the Plebeians persisted in voting in 
this sense : and in consequence only five of the new candidates 
obtained votes sufficient for their election. These five then 
chose other five to complete the College of Ten. Thus closed 
the remarkable year in which the Decemvirs were overthrown, 
and a new beginning of independence made for the commonalty 
of Rome. But though the Decemvirs passed away, and their 
government was forgotten, their code endured for many ages. 

§ 24. The Twelve Tables were considered as the foundation of 
all law, and Cicero always mentions them with the utmost reve- 
rence. But only fragments remain, and those who have be- 
stowed the greatest labour in examining these can give but an 
imperfect account of their original form and contents. 

§ 25. A few provisions only can be noticed here. 

(1.) The Patricians and their Clients were to be included in 
the Plebeian Tribes. And when we speak of Clients, we must 
now comprehend also the Freedmen (libertini)* who were a 
large and increasing class. Further, the three old Patrician 
Tribes now, or before this, became obsolete ; and henceforth a 
Patrician was known not as a Rainnian, a Titian, or a Lucerian, 
but as a Burgess of the Pollian, Papirian, or some other local 

(2.) The law of Debt was left in its former state of severity. 
But the condition of borrowing money was made easier; for it 
was made illegal to exact higher interest than ten per cent. For 
this is the meaning of f Genus unciarium. Uncia (derived from 

* They were called libertini absolutely, but liberti in reference to their 
patron. Thus Tiro was Cicero's libertus, but when spoken of simply he was a 


unus) is one of the twelve units into which the as was divided, 
each being one-twelfth part of the whole. Now -^ of the capital 
is S\ per cent. ; but as the old Roman year was only ten months, 
we must add two months' interest at the same rate ; and this 
amounts to ten per cent, for the year of twelve months. 

(3.) No Private Law or privilegium — that is a law to impose 
any penalty or disability on a single citizen, similar in character 
to our bills of attainder — was to be made. 

(4.) There was to be an Appeal to the People from the sen- 
tence of every magistrate ; and no citizen was to be tried for his 
life except before the Comitia of the Centuries. 

Laws of this kind had been frequent from the time of the first 
law of appeal passed by Valerius Poplicola. The right of Appeal 
was one of the demands made by Duillius on behalf of the Ple- 
beians at the fall of the Decemvirs ; and one of the first acts of the 
new Consuls was to provide that there should be such appeal. All 
these laws were finally absorbed in the famous law of Porcius 
Lseca, " de capite et tergo civium," by which it was enacted that 
no Roman citizen should be put to death or scourged without 
trial before the Centuries (b.c. 256).* These laws may be com- 
pared to our Act of Habeas Corpus, which provides that no man 
shall be imprisoned without having his person produced in open 
court and allowed a fair trial. And as in turbulent times this 
Act is sometimes suspended by the proclamation of military 
law, so at Rome the laws of appeal might be suspended. This 
was done in the earlier times by the appointment of a Dictator, 
and afterwards by a resolution of the Seriate, " that the Consuls 
should see that the commonwealth suffered no injury ."f By 
such a resolution the Consuls were invested with dictatorial 
power ; they possessed the imperium within the walls of the 
city, and might put any dangerous citizen to death. Thus it 
was that the Senate proceeded against the Gracchi, and against 
the Catilinarian conspirators. 

§ 26. But if the legislation of the first decern viral council 
really tended to introduce equal rights for the whole nation, 
there are some laws which' had a directly contrary effect, and 
these are, by the ancients, attributed to the Two last Tables of 
the Code. 

(1.) The old law or custom prohibiting all Intermarriage (con- 
nubium) between the two Orders was now formally confirmed, 

* This was the law by which St. Paul " appealed to Caesar" — for the 
Emperor then represented the Roman People. The phrases varied : — Provoco 
ad Populum, Appello Ccesarem. See the Coin at the end of the Chapter. 

t " Videant consules, ne quid detriment] capiat Respublica." 

Chap. X. 



and thus a positive bar was put to any equalisation of the two 
Orders. No such consummation could be looked for, when the 
Code of national law proclaimed them to be of different races, 
unfit to mingle one with the other. 

(2.) To this may be added the celebrated law by which any 
one who wrote lampoons or libels on his neighbours was liable 
to be deprived of civil rights (diminutio capitis). By this law 
the poet NsBvius was punished, when he assailed the great family 
of the Metelii. 

But notwithstanding these unequal laws, there can be no 
doubt that by the Code of the Twelve Tables the Plebeians gained 
a considerable step towards the adjustment of their differences 
with the Patrician Lords. It was nearly eighty years before these 
differences were completely settled, when the Licinian Laws again 
admitted the Plebeians to the supreme offices of the state. 

Cdix\ ot P. Ivrcius Lan*a. author of thf* F^aw cf Appeal 

104 ) 



§ 1. Canuleian Law for legalising Intermarriage of Orders. § 2. Proposition 
to throw open Consulship to Plebeians : compromise by appointment of 
Military Tribunes. § 3. Nugatory nature of concession : creation of Censor- 
ship. § 4. Reasons for Plebeians demanding so little. § 5. Quaestors in- 
creased from two to four: admission of Plebeians to Quaestorship. § 6. 
Probably at same time to Senate. § 7. Summary. § 8. Popularity of Sp. 
Maelius, a knight: struck dead by C. Servilius Ahala. § 9. Stories of two 
Pcstumii : their severity. 

§ 1. In the first joy which followed the fall of the Decemvirs, 
there seems to have been a great disposition in the moderate 
men of both sides, such as the new Consuls and Duillius, the 
most influential of the Tribunes, to confide in the good inten- 
tions of the opposite party. But the greater part of the Patri- 
cians, especially the young men, in whom the pride of blood was 
hottest, had only made concessions in the hope of recalling them 
on the first opportunity, and many of the Plebeians regarded 
their present gain only as a step towards complete political 

The greatest omission in the arrangement effected by the 
Consuls and Tribunes of the year 449 B.C. was, that they had 
not insisted on the repeal of the invidious law, ratified lately by 
the Twelve Tables, by which the Intermarriage of the Orders 
was prohibited. In the fourth year after the deposition of the 
Decemvirs, an enterprising college of Tribunes made it fully 
understood that the claims of the Plebeians were yet unsatisfied. 
Nothing short of social and political equality would allay the con- 
tests which had been raging, and were sure to rage again, till 
the wall of severance raised up by oligarchical pride were broken 

With these views, C. Canuleius, one of the Tribunes of the 
year 445 B.C., gave notice of a bill which should make the mar- 
riage of the two Orders legitimate. And at the same time his 
nine colleagues spoke of bringing forward a measure which should 
throw open the Consulship to Patricians and Plebeians alike. 

Scenes of great violence followed the introduction of these 
bills, as before, when Terentilius Harsa was striving for his law. 
We know no particulars, except that the Tribunes, despairing of 


success, again led the Plebeians out of the city ; and in this third 
Secession they occupied the Janiculum. If, they said, the Patri- 
cians deemed their fellow-citizens unworthy to marry with them, 
if their blood would not mingle, if they were different races of 
ra&n, — it were better that they should live apart. Here, how- 
ever, as before, the Secession gave strength to the moderate 
party, and it was agreed by the Patricians to allow the Canuleian 
law to pass. This was in itself a revolution. It destroyed the 
existence of the Patricians as a caste. It was now conceded that 
the two Orders were equal in blood, and that children born of a 
mixed marriage were in law entitled to the same rank and privi- 
leges as those of pure patrician descent. This change, more than 
anything, promoted that complete amalgamation of the two 
Orders, which followed in the next seventy or eighty years. 

§ 2. The Canuleian bill had become law. The proposal of the 
nine Tribunes. to open the Consulship remained. Against this, 
the Patrician Burgesses made a firmer stand. They had yielded 
the most dearly prized of their social privileges ; they resolved 
to maintain their political powers untouched. The Consuls, they 
argued, had sacred duties to perform ; it was their business to * 
call together the Centuriate Assembly and preside over it, for 
none could take the auspices and perform the sacred duties asso- 
ciated with this business except those in whose veins ran pure 
patrician blood. Thus was again raised the very question which 
ought to have been set at rest by the Canuleian law. The 
different nature, as it were, of Patricians and Plebeians was still 
made a reason for excluding the latter from the highest offices 
of state, 

After much altercation and long delays, a compromise was 
agreed to, as in the case of the Terentilian law. Till a satis- 
factory arrangement could be made with respect to the Consul- 
ship, the chief executive power was committed to officers who 
bore the name of Military Tribunes, or Tribunes with Con- 
sular authority.* They were to be elected, like the Consuls, by 
the Centuries, and Plebeians as well as Patricians were to be 

§ 3. It seems, at first sight, as if by this concession the Patri- 
cians had given up everything that was demanded by the nine 
Tribunes. The Tribunes asked for free admission to the Consu- 
late ; free admission to the Military Tribunate was conceded. How- 
ever, on examination, it turns out that this apparent concession 
was more than balanced by other portions of the arrangement. The 

* Their proper title was tribuni Militares consulari potestate, or consulari 


Patricians felt sure, by their influence in the Comitia of the Cen- 
turies, that they should secure most of the places in the new 
magistracy. But if this failed, the Senate had the power of sus- 
pending the Military Tribunate, and ordering an election of Con- 
suls for any given year. 

Further, in the very year after the establishment of Military 
Tribunes, two new officers of state, called Censors, were ap- 
pointed. These were both Patricians, and it cannot be doubted 
that the cause of their creation was to take out of the hands of 
the Military Tribunes some of the most important functions 
which had hitherto belonged to the office of Consul. They 
chose the Senate, and no doubt took the auspices. They also 
held office for five years (this period was called a lustrum), till 
L. Mamercus iEmilius in his Dictatorship brought in a law by 
which the Censors were allowed eighteen months for the pur- 
pose of executing their business, and then were required to lay 
down their office. 

It may be observed that it was not till the year 400 B.C. that 
even a single Plebeian obtained a place in the Military Tribunate. 
After this, however, the inferior order commonly obtained their 
due share of places, and in one year they even formed a majority. 

§ 4. It may be matter of surprise that the Plebeians were 
content with so little. No doubt, the first thing they looked to 
was their own personal well-being ; as yet they cared little for 
political rights. All their movements had rather tended to secu- 
rity of person and property than to possession of power. They 
sought for Tribunes of the Plebs, to protect the poor debtors from 
the oppression of rich creditors. They demanded an equal Code 
of laws, that they might have known rights, not dependent on 
the will of patrician courts of law. They claimed the right of 
Appeal from the judgment of the Consuls, that their persons 
might be secure from arbitrary power. The only exception is the 
second Valerian Law, by which the Assembly of the Tribes 
obtain the power of making laws. But for some time to come 
even these laws had to do* only with questions of persons and 
property ; the Plebeians did not yet interfere with political 
matters, such as peace and war. 

§ 5 We may assume that the period between the Canuleian 
Law and the siege of Veii, when the Military Tribunate seems 
first to have been regularly established, was a period of pro- 
visional government, during which all public relations were ex- 
tremely unsettled. The few events that are preserved by the 
annalists fully indicate this state of things. In the first years of 
the Military Tribunate, the Patrician Burgesses are evidently 
struggling hard to maintain their political supremacy. In those 


years, Consulships are frequent ; the very first election to the 
Military Tribunate was set aside by the augurs, and the same 
thing happens more than once : but at length consular years be- 
come rare, and after the beginning of the siege of Veii almost 
disappear. And in the year 421 B.C. the Plebeians were admitted 
to another office of state hitherto confined to the Patricians, 
namely, the Quaestorship. The Quaestors now spoken of are the 
Qu^stores Classici, so called because they were originally named 
by King Servius as paymasters of the Classes, or great military 
bodies, into which he divided all the people : and they must be 
distinguished from the Quaestores Parricidii, or Perduellionis.* 
As time went on, the duties of the Quaestores Classici, now called 
simply Quaestors, multiplied ; and it was thought necessary to 
appoint four instead of two. On this, the Tribunes of the Plebs 
demanded, that two of the four should be Plebeians, and this 
was conceded. Some time after, the number of the Quaestors 
was again doubled ; and in later times they became indefinite in 
number, since every general and every governor of a province 
had a Quaestor attached to his staff. 

§ 6. Now it certaiuly was the custom in after-times to fill up 
vacancies in the Senate from those who had served as Quaestors ; 
and probably it was so from the beginning. When, therefore, 
there were eight Quaestors, the Censors at the commencement of 
each lustrum would find forty men, out of whom new Senators 
were to be chosen ; and as these forty had all been elected 
Quaestors by the People in their Centuries, it is plain that the^ 
Senate was indirectly chosen by the People. This regulation, 
whenever introduced, diminished very much the arbitrary power 
of the Censors in choosing new Senators. Moreover, it gave 
the Plebeians admission into the Senate — a most important pri- 
vilege, which was granted probably from their first admission to 
the Quaestorship. For we find P. Licinius Calvus spoken of as 
"an old senator" in the year 400 B.C., and he was a Plebeian. 
Now, as the Plebeians were admitted to the Qiicxstorship in 
421 B.C., it may reasonably be supposed that this P. Licinius 
was one of the first Plebeian Quaestors, and that he with 
other Plebeians was soon after placed upon the roll of the 

§ 7. Therefore, we see the Plebeians admitted to the Military 
Tribuneship by law in 445 B.C., and actually in 400; to the 
Quaestorship in 421, and to the Senate probably at the same time. 
The political disunion of the Orders was fast disappearing, and 
but for the Gallic invasion, which interrupted all peaceful reforms, 
would have ended sooner than was actually the fact. 

* Chapt. ii. § 2. 


§ 8. Yet there remained many signs of discord and discontent, 
though of less violence than in the time of Terentilius. 

The year 440 B.C. was the beginning of several seasons of 
dearth and scarcity. To relieve the distress of the poor, a new 
office, called the Mastership of the Market (Prsefectura Annonee), 
was created ; and the Patrician L. Minucius was the first who 
held this office. But the poorer sort among the Plebeians, im- 
patient with hunger, complained that his measures were slow 
and ineffectual ; and their discontent was still further increased 
by the suspicious liberality of Sp. Mselius, a wealthy Plebeian 
Knight. This man employed his money in buying up corn, 
which he distributed for little or nothing among the poorer 
citizens ; and he was suspected by the Patricians of a wish to 
raise himself to kingly power. The unhappy man paid dearly 
for his ambition or generosity. One of the Consuls of the year 
was T. Quinctius Oapitolinus, a resolute Patrician, who deter- 
mined to crush the attempts of Maelius. To this end he named 
a Dictator, and the person chosen was the old hero L. Quinctius 
Cincinnatus, his kinsman, who now reappears for a moment 
upon the stage. The aged Dictator entered on his office with 
all the eagerness of youth ; he named C. Servilius Ahala his 
Master of the Horse ; during the night he occupied the Capitol 
and all the strong places in the city. Next morning he took his 
seat in the Forum, and sent Ahala to summon Meelius before his 
tribunal. Mselius knew that his case was desperate ; for under 
the Dictator the right of Appeal to the Centuries was for the time 
suspended. He therefore refused to obey the summons ; and, 
on his refusal, Ahala struck him dead upon the spot. Then the 
Dictator gave judgment that the act was necessary and justifi- 
able : he treated Mcelius as a condemned traitor, and ordered his 
house to be levelled with the ground. The place was called the 
/Equimselium. His stores of corn were sold at a low rate to the 
poor Plebeians by Minucius. 

Cicero and the ancients always praise the conduct of Ahala, 
and represent him to have saved the commonwealth by his 
firmness and decision. On the other hand, the Plebeians of his 
own time considered Melius as a martyr to their cause ; and so 
great was their indignation that Ahala, fearing to be indicted for 
murder, was obliged to leave Rome. 

§ 9. Still more angry feeling is indicated by two narratives re- 
lating to members of the haughty Postumian Gens. 

In the year 431 B.C., Rome was threatened by a combined 
attack from the iEquians and Volscians ; and to oppose it A. 
Postumius Tuber tus was named Dictator. He defeated the 
enemy, but only by enforcing the most rigorous discipline — 


so rigorous, that he condemned his own son to death, because, 
though he gained a victory, he had presumed to attack without 
orders. This story of the severity of the Roman father is 
better known in the case of T. Manlius which occurred nearly 
a century later. 

Again , in the year 414 b c, M. Postumius Regillensis was 
Military Tribune, and warmly opposed an agrarian law, by which 
it was proposed to divide among the poorer Plebeians certain 
lands which had been taken from the JEquians. As commander 
of the army, he threatened to use his absolute power (imperium) 
in punishing any soldier who had dared, or should dare, to further 
this agrarian law ; and he made good his word by refusing them 
all share in the lands. So exasperated were the men that they 
rose in mutiny, and stoned their general to death — a rare instance 
of insubordination among: the soldiers of Home. 

Emissary of Alban Lake 



§ 1. Steady advance of Romans on side of ^Equians and Volscians: renewal of 
hostilities with the Etrurians of Veii. § 2. Cossus wins spolia opima from 
Lars Tolumnius. § 3. Veii: siege begins in 405 B.C. § 4. Appointment 
of M. Furius Camillus as Dictator. § 5. Legend of Overflow of Alban Lake. 
§ 6. Legend of Capture of Veii in tenth year of war. § 7. Camillus takes 
Palerii (story of schoolmaster), Sutrium, Nepete: truce with Volsinii. 


§ 8. Project of removing from Rome to Veii, defeated. § 9. Unpopularity 
ofCamillus: his banishment. §10. Estimate of his conduct: his parting 

§ 1. Since the victory gained by the Consuls Valerius and Hora- 
tius over the Sabines, no molestation had been experienced from 
that quarter. The Leagues formed by the great Consul Sp. Cas- 
sius had checked the advance of the Opican nations on the east, 
particularly of the Volscians. These successes continued. Colo- 
nies sent to Ardea in 442 B.C., and to Velitrce in 404, protected 
the Roman Territory on the east from the inroads of the Volscians; 
while northern Latium was secured by another Colony planted 
at Lavici in 413. A great change had taken place since the 
JSquians and Volscians had been in occupation of the Alban Hills, 
and threatened the very gates of Rome. And while the Opican 
tribes were being forced back upon the east, a war took place 
against the Etruscans beyond the Tiber, which ended in the tirst 
considerable addition to the Roman territory that had been 
received since the fall of the monarchy. From the days of Lars 
Porsenna, Rome had carried on a desultory war with the Veien- 
tines, as with her neighbours on the eastern frontier. But since 
the fatal day on which the great Fabian Gens perished on the 
Cremera, there had been & cessation of these feuds. The quar- 
rel was thus renewed. 

§ 2. Fidense was an ancient town on the Sabine side of the 
Tiber, opposite the Cremera, not more than six or seven miles 
from Rome. It was a Roman Colony, but it had repeatedly re- 
volted and expelled the colonists. The last time that this hap- 
pened, the Fidenatians called en Lars Tolumnius of Veii to 
defend them from the Romans. He raised an army of his own 
people combined with the men of Capena and the Faliscans, 
and marched against Rome. The Romans prevailed, and A. Cor- 
nelius Cossus, one of the Military Tribunes, slew the Veientine 
king with bis own hand : the linen cuirass which he took and 
offered up to Jupiter was long preserved, and the Emperor Au- 
gustus himself pointed out to Livy that in the inscription upon 
it Cossus called himself Consul, instead of Military Tribune, in 
order that he might have the credit of winning the spolia opima.* 
FidenaQ was razed to the ground : a truce was made with Veii. 

§ 3. This truce ended in the year 407 B.C., and the Veientines 
entreated the assistance of their Etruscan kinsfolk against the 
City of the Seven Hills. They met at the Fanum Voltumnae ; but 
the northern states were in fear of the Gauls, who were threaten- 
ing to overrun their country, and Veii was left to defend her- 

* Liv. iv. 20. For, as Military Tribune, lie could not be sole commander 
of the legions. 


self. She was no mean rival — as large as Rome, as well-peopled, 
not more than twelve miles distant ; and, from the preparations 
made on the part of Rome it was plain that the war must end 
in the destruction of one city or the other. The Veientines, 
however, did not dare again to meet the Romans in the field, 
and allowed their city to be invested (405 B.C.) This was the 
first time that the Roman militia kept the field for a con- 
tinuance. Hitherto the men had only gone forth for a short 
campaign, bub now they were obliged to remain in the field 
for the whole year, in order effectually to blockade the enemy's 

§ 4. But the siege lasted several years without any progress 
on the part of the Romans. They were unused to the work of a 
regular siege ; and the Veientines, assisted now by the people of 
Capena and Falerii, attacked and defeated them. A panic fear 
spread from the army to Rome ; the matrons crowded to the 
temples ;, the Senate met and ordered that a Dictator should be 
appointed. The choice . fell on M. Furius Camillus, a. great 
name, which is now mentioned for the first time. 

From about the time of his appointment the story of the siege 
passes into an heroic legend, like those of Coriolanus and the 
Fabii. Thus it runs. 

§ 5. The panic fear which overpowered the people in the 
seventh year of the war was not caused by defeat alone. It was 
magnified by prodigies and marvels ; for when summer was now 
far spent, the A]ban Lake, which stands high on the Alban Hills 
without any visible outlet for its waters, began to rise from no 
apparent cause. Prayers and sacrifice availed not ; the waters 
still flowed on. Then the Senate sent to consult the oracle 
at Delphi what should be done to avert the mischief. 

Meantime an old Yeientine soothsayer was heard to laugh at 
the Romans who were encamped at Veii ; "for," said he, "it is 
written in the Book of Fate that Veii shall be taken when the 
waters of the Alban Lake shall be let off without escaping to the 
sea." A Roman centurion who heard this persuaded the old man 
to come forth, and advise him about certain matters of his own : 
then he seized the old man, and the generals sent him to Rome to 
be examined by the Senate. But the Senate paid him no heed till 
the messengers returned from Delphi, and said the same things. 
Then they set to work and made a great tunnel from the south- 
western part of the lake, so as to allow the waters of the river 
to disperse by means of ditches over the fields, without reach- 
ing the sea. * The tunnel, called in Latin an emissarium or out- 
Ictter, to which the legend refers, still remains. It is hewn 
through hard volcanic rock for a distance of nearly three miles, 


measuring about five feet in height and three in breadth,* It 
would be a great work even in these days.t 

When the Veientines found that the fates were about to be 
fulfilled, they sent messengers to ask for peace. But the Senate 
turned a deaf ear to their prayer; whereupon one of the mes- 
sengers said, " It is written truly that our city should fall ; but 
it is also written (though ye know it not), that if Veii should 
fall, Rome shall be destroyed also." But still the Senate listened 
not, and M. Furius Camillus was appointed Dictator, as has 
been said. 

§ 6. Camillus dallied not with the w T ork. He was not con- 
tented with blockading the city as before, but began a mine 
which was to open into the citadel ; and when this was ready he 
sent for citizens from Rome to share in the plunder. 

As the Romans stood in the mine beneath the citadel, so 
runs the Legend, the King of Veii was offering a sacrifice there 
to Juno ; and they heard the soothsayer declare that whoever 
completed that sacrifice should prevail. Then Camillus gave 
the sign, and the astounded Veientines saw armed Romans rise 
from beneath their feet. So they and their king were slain, 
and the Romans completed the sacrifice. And Camillus sent a 
band of young men dressed in white, with hands clean from 
blood, to carry the statue of the great goddess Juno to Rome. 
But they, not daring to touch her, asked whether she were willing 
to go ; and then (it is said) she nodded assent, and the statue 
was placed in a new temple upon the Aventine. 

Thus fell Veii, like Troy, in the tenth year of the war, and the 
people obtained a great booty. And Camillus entered Rome and 
descended the Sacred Way, and went up to the Capitol in a car 
drawn by four white horses, like the chariot of the sun. Never 
had general so triumphed before, and old men feared that the 
vengeance of the gods might come upon his pride. 

§ 7. Veii had fallen, and her few allies were not left un- 
punished. First, the Romans attacked and utterly destroyed 

* The Alban stone is noted for its hardness. To check fires at Rome, the 
Emperor Augustus ordered that a portion of every new house should be or' 
Alban or Gabian stone. It is conjectured that the soothsayer hinted at the 
operation of mining, by which Veii was taken. 

f There is an emissarium to let off the waters of the Fucine Lake (Lake of 
Celano) in the jEquian mountains. It was executed in the time of the 
Emperor Claudius, and is three miles in length from the edge of the lake to 
the bed of the Lids. Its height is about ten feet, and its breadth six. 30,000 
men were engaged for eleven years in the work ; and after all, it failed. In 
our own days, a company has been formed to complete the work, the calculated 
expense being 160,000/. These facts will show the greatness of the work of 
draining the Alban Lake, which was executed in the infancy of the Roman 


Capena ; then Cainillus, now Military Tribune, went against 
Falerii, the chief city of the Faliscans, which also fell an easy 
prey to the Roman arms. The story goes that, when he appeared 
before this city, a certain schoolmaster, who taught the sons of 
all the chief men, brought them out by stealth and offered to 
put them into the hands of the Romans. But Camillus, scorn- 
ing the baseness of the man, ordered that his hands should be 
tied behind him, and that the boys should flog him back again 
into the town; "for Romans," said he, " war not with boys, but 
with men." Then the Faliscans, won by his noble conduct, 
willingly surrendered their city (b.c. 394). 

Soon after Sutrium and Nepete also surrendered, and as Caere 
was an ancient ally of Rome, her power was paramount in all the 
district south of the Ciminian forest. Nor was this all. Three 
years later they came in collision with the powerful city of Vol- 
sinii (Bolsena), north of the Ciminian range, and won a battle. 
A peace of twenty years was then concluded. Doubtless the 
same reasons had prevented the northern Etruscans from aiding 
their southern compatriots, and now hastened this peace. The 
Gauls ere this had crossed the Apennines. 

§ 8. The conquest of Veii very nearly proved the ruin of 
Rome. It was a large and beautiful city, well and regularly 
built, on a plain, with a citadel of great natural strength over- 
hanging the city. All the country round, up to the hills of 
the Ciminian forest, was now subject to Rome. The Veien- 
tines themselves, according to the barbarous practice of ancient 
times, had all been put to the sword or sold into slavery. There 
stood the goodly city empty, inviting people to come and dwell 
in her. 

On the other hand, " Rome with her seven hills presented a 
series of ascents and descents ; in the ancient city there was 
hardly a level street, and the streets themselves were much less 
regular and hands*ome than those of Veii. It is not wonderful, 
then, that men should turn their thoughts towards the latter 
city, especially those poor Plebeians who had no lands at Rome. 
Some called for an agrarian law, to divide the lands of Veii 
among the people ; but T. Sicinius and some of his brother 
Tribunes proposed that half the people should go and settle in 
Veii, so that she should form another state equal to Rome. At 
first this proposal was stopped by the veto of two Tribunes, who 
opposed their colleagues; but the People listened to the rea- 
soning of the Patricians, and eleven Tribes out of twenty -one 
voted against the bill. Thus the Tribunes were defeated even 
in their own Assembly. 

Satisfied with this victory, the patrician party consented to an 

Chap. XII. SIEGE OF VEIL 1 15 

agrarian law on a large scale. The Veientine lands were distri- 
buted, and seven jugera were allotted to every householder, with 
an additional allowance for his children. 

§ 9. Meantime the great Camillus had lost favour with his 
countrymen. His patrician pride all along diminished the popu- 
larity which as a conqueror he had won : and he lost still more 
when he called upon every man to refund a tenth of the spoil 
they had taken at Veii, to make an offering which he had vowed to 
Apollo. Poor men ill brook to part with what they think their 
own: "the general's vow," they said, "was a mere pretence to 
rob the Plebeians of their hard-won spoil." 

Nor was it long before men came forward and accused Camillus 
of taking much of the booty for his own share, which ought to 
haye been fairly divided among all. It was said he had appro- 
priated the great bronze gates, which in those days, when all 
coin was of bronze, were exceedingly valuable. The general 
was impeached for corrupt practices by L. Appuleius, Tribune 
of the Plebs (391 B.C.) His Clients and Tribesmen offered to 
pay the fine, which probably would have been imposed upon 
him, but said they could not acquit him. He therefore left 
the city, and as he left it he turned about and prayed that 
his country might soon have reason to feel his want and call 
him back again. Ardea, a city of the Latins, was his place of 

§ 10. There can be little doubt that Camillus really took these 
gates. But he might well think that he was entitled to them, 
for it was acknowledged that a general had a right to set apart a 
portion for himself ; and we may believe that his chief fault lay 
in his Patrician haughtiness. All would wish to believe that so 
great a man was not to be blamed for greed and baseness. 

His parting prayer was heard : for " the Gaul was at the gates/ 
anil the next year saw Rome in ashes. 

Geese of the Capitol ( ?). 


THE GAULS. (390 B.C.) 

§ 1. Introductory. § 2. Migrations of Celtic nations: occupation of Northern 
Italy by Gauls. § 3. Who those Gauls were that burnt Rome. § 4. Legend 
of quarrel with Gauls, and battle of Alia. § 5 — 7. Of sack of Rome and 
blockade of Capitol. § 8. Of delivery by Camillus. § 9. Falsehood of last 
Legend. § 10. Legends of T. Manlius Torquatus and M. Valerius- Corvus. 

§ 1. The course of Roman History, hitherto disturbed only by 
petty border wars, now suffers a great convulsion. Over her 
neighbours on the east and north the Republic was in the 
ascendant ; on the west the frail oligarchies of Etruria had sunk 
before Camillus and his hardy soldiers ; when, by an untoward 
union of events. Rome saw her best general banished, and heard 
of the barbarian host which was wasting the fair land of Italy. 
The Gauls burst upon Latium and the adjoining lands with the 
suddenness of a thunderstorm, which swept over the face of Italy, 
crushing and destroying. The Etruscans were weakened by it : 
and if Rome herself was laid prostrate, the Latins also suffered 
greatly, the Volscians trembled, and the iEquians were irrecover- 
ably weakened. 

The Gauls were a tribe of that large race of mankind who are 
known under the name of Celts, and who at the time in question 
peopled nearly the whole of Western Europe, from the heart of 
Germany to the ocean. The northern and central parts of the 
continent were already in the hands of various nations, called 
by the common name of Germans or Teutons, to whom belonged 

Chap. XIII. THE GAULS. 1 17 

the Goths, Saxons, Danes, Normans, Lombards, Franks, and 
Alemanni, while the Celts possessed France, great part of Ger- 
many, most of Spain and Portugal, together with the British 
Isles. Of these Celts there were two great divisions, commonly 
called Gael and Cymri, differing in habits and language.* The 
ancient inhabitants of France were Gael, those of Britain and 
Belgica were Cymri ; and the Druidical religion, though some- 
times adopted by the Gael, was properly and originally Cymric. 
Gael are still found in Ireland and in the Highlands of Scotland ; 
Cymri in Wales and Low Brittany ; and they have left traces of 
their name in Cumber-land. 

§ 2. Before the time we are now speaking of, there had been a 
great movement in the Celtic nations. Two great swarms went 
out from Gaul. Of these, one crossed the Alps into Italy ; the 
other, moving eastward, in the course of time penetrated into 
Greece, and then passed into Asia Minor, where they were known 
under the name of Galatians.f 

It is supposed that the Gael who dwelt in the eastern parts 
of Gaul, being oppressed by Cymric tribes of the west and 
north, went forth to seek new homes in distant lands, as in 
later times the Gothic and German nations were driven in the 
contrary direction by the Huns and other Asiatic hordes, who 
were thronging into Europe from the east. At all events, it is 
certain that large bodies of Celts passed over the Alps before 
and after this time, and having once tasted the wines and eaten 
the fruits of Italy, were in ilo hurry to return from that fair 
land into their own less hospitable regions. The course taken 
by these adventurers was probably over divers passes of the 
Alps, from the Mount Cenis and the Little St. Bernard to the 
Simplon. Pouring from these outlets, they overran the rich 
plains of Northern Italy, and so occupied the territory which 
lies between the Alps, the Apennines, and the Adriatic, J that 
the Eomans called this territory Gallia Cisalpina, or Hither Gaul. 
The northern Etruscans § gave way before these fierce barbarians, 
and their name is heard of no more in those parts. Then the 
Gauls crossed the Apennines into Southern Etruria, and while 

* Celt is strictly the same as Gael (KsXr-a/, TaXar-ai, Gall-i, Gael, being 
all one), and therefore is itself properly opposed to Cymri. But it is con- 
venient to have one common name, and most modern writers have taken Celt 
or Kelt as the generic appellation of the race. 

f They plundered the temple of Delphi in 279 B.C., rather more than a 
century after their compatriots sacked Rome. See Dr. Smith's History of 
Greece, chapt. xlvi. § 4. 

t All of it except Liguria, which was bounded by the Apennines and Mari- 
time Alps, the Po and the Trebia. § Introduction, Sect. ii. § 7. 


they were ravaging that country they first came in contact with 
the sons of Eome. 

§ 3. The common date for this event is 390 b c. How long 
before this time the Gallic hordes had been pouring into Italy 
we know not. But whenever it was that they first passed over 
the Alps, it is certain that now they first crossed the Apennines. 

The tribe which took this course were of the Senones, as all 
authors say, and therefore we may suppose they were Gaelic ; 
but it has been thought they were mixed with Cymri, since the 
name of their king or chief was Brennits, and Brenhin is Cymric 
for a King* They are described as large-limbed, with fair 
skins, yellow hair, and blue eyes, in all respects contrasted with 
the natives of Southern Italy. Their courage was high, but 
their tempers fickle. They were more fitted for action than 
endurance ; able to conquer, but not steady enough to maintain 
and secure their conquests. 

§ 4. Brennus and his barbarians (it was said or sung) passed 
into Etruria at the invitation of Aruns, a citizen of Clusium 
(Chiusi), whose daughter had been dishonoured by a young 
Lucumo or Noble of the same place. To avenge his private 
wrongs this Etruscan called in the Gauls, as Count Julian in the 
Spanish romance called in the Moors to avenge the seduction 
of his daughter by Roderic the Goth. The Gauls, nothing loth, 
crossed the mountains, and laid siege to Clusium ; on which 
the Etruscans of the city, terrified and helpless, despairing of 
effectual succour from their own countrymen, sent to seek aid 
from the city of the Tiber, which had conquered so many old 
Etruscan cities. Common danger makes friends of foes ; and 
the Senate determined to support the Etruscans against the 
barbarians. However, all they did was to send three ambassa- 
dors, sons of Fabius Ambustus, the Pontifex Maximus, to warn 
the Gauls not to meddle further with the men of Clusium, for 
Clusium was the ally of Rome. The barbarians took slight 
notice of the message, and continued the war. Now it chanced 
that there was a battle fought while the three Fabii were still 
at Clusium ; and they, forgetting their peaceful character of 
envoys, took part with the Clusians against the Gauls, and one 
of them was seen stripping the arms off a Gallic champion 
whom he had slain. The barbarians, in high wrath, demanded 
to be led straight against the city whose sons were so faithless ; 
but their chiefs restrained them, and sent an embassy to Rome 
demanding that the envoys should be given up. Then the 
Senate, not caring to decide so weighty a matter, referred it 

* The same title is given to the chief who led the assault upon Delphi. 

Chap. XIII. THE GAULS. 119 

to the People ; and so far was the People from listening to the 
demands of the Gaul, that at the Comitia next ensuing, these 
very envoys were all three elected Military Tribunes. On 
hearing of this gross and open insult, Brennus broke up his 
camp at Clusium, and .marched southward for Rome. The 
River Clanis, upon which stood Clusium, led them down to the 
Tiber beneath Vulsinii. Having crossed that river, and pouring 
down its left bank, they found themselves confronted hj the 
Romans on the banks of the Alia, a little stream that rises in 
the Sabine Hills and empties itself into the Tiber at a point 
nearly opposite the Cremera. Their left rested on the Tiber, 
the Alia was in their front, and their right occupied some hilly 
ground. Brennus attempted not to attack in front, but threw 
himself with an overpowering force upon the right flank of the 
enemy ; and the Romans, finding their position turned, were 
seized with panic fear and fled. The greater part plunged into 
the Tiber in the hope of escaping across the river to Veii, and 
many made their escape ^good ; but many were drowned, and 
many pierced by Gallic javelins. A small number reached Rome, 
and carried home news of the disaster. 

The Gauls cared not to pursue the foe. One or two days 
they spent in collecting trophies and rejoicing in their easy 

§ 5. Meantime the Senate at Rome did what was possible to 
retrieve their fallen fortunes. With all the men of military age 
they withdrew into the Capitol, for they had not numbers to 
man the walls of the city. These were mainly Patricians. The 
mass of the Plebeians, with the women, fled to Veii. The 
priests and vestal virgins, carrying with them the sacred images 
and utensils, found refuge at the friendly Etruscan city of Caere'. 
Bat the old Senators, who had been Consuls or Censors, and had 
won triumphs and grown gray in their country's service, feeling 
themselves to be now no longer a succour but a burthen, deter- 
mined to sacrifice themselves for her; and M. Fabius, the 
Pontifex, recited the form of words * by which they solemnly 
devoted themselves to the gods below, praying that on their 
heads only might fall the vengeance and the destruction. Then, 
as the Gauls approached, they ordered their ivory chairs to be 
set in the Comitium, before the temples of the gods, and there 
they took their seats, each man clad in his robes of state, to 
await the coming of the avenger. 

§ 6. At length the Gallic host approached the City and came 
to the Colline gate. It stood wide open, and they advanced 
slowly, not without suspicion, through deserted streets, unre- 
* Carmen, as the Romans colled it. 


sisted and unchecked. When they reached the Forum, there, 
within its sacred precincts, they beheld those venerable men, 
sitting like so many gods descended from Heaven to protect 
their own. They gazed with silent awe : till at length a Gaul, 
hardier than his brethren, ventured to . stroke the long beard of 
M. Papirius. The old hero raised his ivory staff and smote the 
offender ; whereupon the barbarian in wrath slew hirn : and this 
first sword-stroke gave the signal for a general slaughter. Then 
the Romans in the Capitol believed that the gods had accepted 
the offering which those old men had made, and that the rest 
would be saved. 

But for a time they were doomed to look down inactive upon 
the pillage of their beloved city. Fires broke out, and all the 
houses perished, except some upon the Palatine, which were 
saved for the convenience of the chiefs. At length the Gauls, 
sated with plunder, resolved to assault the Capitol. In those 
days it was surrounded on all sides with steep scarped cliffs, and 
only approachable from the Forum by the Sacer Clivus. Here 
the Gauls made their assault ; but it was easily repulsed, and 
henceforth they contented themselves with a blockade. A por- 
tion of them remained in the city, while the rest roamed through 
Southern Italy, plundering and destroying. 

§ 7. The months that follow are embellished with more than 
one heroic Legend. We read that while the Gauls were lying at 
the foot of the Capitol, they were astonished to see a youth 
named C. Fabius Dorso come down into the midst of them, clad 
in sacred attire, and pass through the Forum along the Sacred 
Way to the Quirinal Hill, there to perform certain solemn rites 
peculiar to the great Fabian Gens.* Struck with religious awe, 
they suffered the bold youth to go upon his way and return to 
the Capitol unharmed. 

'Still more famous is the Legend of M. Manlius, the saviour of 
the Capitol. The Plebeians at Veii were anxious to communi- 
cate with the Senate and Patricians there ; and for this pur- 
pose Pontius Cominius, a brave Patrician youth, undertook to 
climb the steep rock of the Capitoline on the river side. He 
explained to the Senate the wish of the People to reoal Camillus 
and make him Dictator ; and having obtained their sanction, 
he returned tho same way in safety. But next day the Gauls 
observed the marks on the rock where his feet had rested, or 
where he had clung for support to the tufted grass and bushes. 
Where one man had climbed another could follow ; and a chosen 
party cautiously ascended by the same track. The foremost of 
them was just reaching the top in safety ; the guards slept ; not 
* See the legend of the Cremera, Chapt. ix. § 5. 

Chap XIII. THE GAULS. 121 

even a watch-dog bayed. But in the temple of Juno, which 
stood hard by, certain sacred geese were kept, and the pious 
Romans (so ran the legend) had spared to eat of these even in 
the extremities of hunger. And they were rewarded. For 
now, in the hour of need, the sacred birds began to cackle aloud 
and flap their wings, so that they roused -M. Manlius from sleep. 
Then he, hastily snatching up his arms, rushed to the edge of 
the cliff where the noise was, and finding a Gaul just setting 
foot upon the top, he pushed him backward : and his fall so 
alarmed his comrades, that some fell down, and others were slain 
without resistance. Thus M. Manlius saved the Capitol ; and 
his fellow-soldiers so honoured his bravery, that each man gave 
him a day's allowance of food, notwithstanding the distress to 
which all had been reduced. 

§ 8. For seven months did the Gauls blockade the Capitol. 
They entered the city in the heat of the Dog-days, and the two 
months that follow are at Rome the most unhealthy of the year. 
Unused to the sultry climate, naturally intemperate, living in 
the open air, numbers of them fell a prey to pestilence and 
fever. But with stubborn courage they braved all, till at length 
Brennus agreed to quit Rome on condition of receiving 1000 
pounds weight of gold. This was hastily collected, partly from 
the temples of the Capitol, partly from private sources ; and 
when it was being weighed out, Brennus with insolent bravado 
threw in his sword with the weights, crying, " Vae victis ! * " Woe 
to the vanquished ! " But while the scale was yet turning (so 
ran the legend), Camillus, who as Dictator had taken the com- 
mand of the Roman army at Veii, marched into the Forum. 
Sternly he ordered the gold to be taken away, saying that 
with iron, not with gold, would he redeem the city. Then he 
drove the Gauls away, and so completely destroyed their host, 
that not a man was left to carry home the news of their 

§ 9. Such was the conclusion of the Legend. But, unfortu- 
nately for Roman pride, here also, as in the tale of Porsenna, 
traces of true history are preserved which show how little the 
Roman annalists regarded truth. Polybius tells us, as if he 
knew no other story, that the departure of the Gauls was caused 
by the intelligence that the Venetians, an Ulyrian tribe, had 
invaded their settlements in Northern Italy, and that they 
actually received the gold and marched off unmolested to their 
homes. It is added by a later historian, that a Livius Drusus 
recovered this very gold from the Gauls of a later day. 

The Gauls left the city in ruins, in whatever way they were 

ROME. x G 


compelled to retire, whether by the sword of Camillus, or by the 
softer persuasion of gold. Of the effects of their invasions 
and the condition of Rome thereafter, we will speak in the next 

§ 10. Two later inroads of the Gauls are distinguished by two 
famous Legends : the last, or nearly the last, which occur in the 
pages of Roman history. 

In the Manlian house there was a Family which bore the 
name of Torquatus. This name was said to have been won by 
T. Manlius, who fought with a gigantic Gallic champion on the 
bridge over the Anio in 361 B.c, and slew him. From the neck 
of the slain enemy he took the massy chain (torques) which the 
Gallic chiefs were in the habit of wearing.* He put it round his 
own neck, and returning in triumph to his friends, was ever after 
known by the name of T. Manlius Torquatus. Of him we shall 
hear more in the sequel. 

Again, when L. Camillus, nephew of the great Camillus, was 
pursuing the Gauls through the Volscian plains in 349 B.C., a 
champion challenged any one of the Roman youth to single 
combat. The challenge was readily accepted by M. Valerius, 
who, by the side of the huge Gaul, looked like a mere strip- 
ling. At the beginning of the combat (wonderful to tell) a 
crow lighted upon his helmet ; and as they fought, the bird 
confounded the Gaul by flying in his face and striking him with 
his beak, and flapping its wings before his eyes ; so that he fell 
an easy conquest to the young Roman. Hence M. Valerius was 
ever known by the name of Corvus, and his descendants after 
him. Him also we shall hear of hereafter ; for he lived to be a 
great general, and more than once delivered his country from 
great danger. 

" Lacfcoa col la 
Auro ihnectudtur." — Vtrg. JRn. viiL 660 

As, with head of Janus. 


OF THE TWO ORDERS. (389 — 367 B.C.) 

§ 1. Proposition to migrate to Veii renewed: defeated by an omen. § 2. Ir- 
regularity in rebuilding the City. § 3. Misery of the people. § 4. M. 
Manlius comes forward as their patron : his fate. § 5. Measures to con- 
ciliate the Plebs: Four new Tribes created from the Veientine territory. 
§ 6, Claims of the Plebeians to the Consulate renewed by C. Licinius and 
t. Sextius. § 7. Pretended cause of their enterprise. § 8. The three 
Licinian Rogations promulgated 376 B.C.: their character. § 9. Violent 
opposition of the Patricians, met by an interdict on all elections by Licinius 
and Sextius. § 10. Struggle prolonged for five years. §11. Compromise 
refused by the Tribunes : after live years more the Licinian Rogations become 
Law, § 12. Sextius first Plebeian Consul : Patrician Curies refuse him the 
Jmperium, § 13. This Quarrel adjusted: judicial power of the Consul 
transferred to a new Patrician Magistrate, the Praetor: Curule yEdiles. 
§ 14. Camillus vows a Temple to Concord : rapid rise of Roman power 
consequent on the Union of the Orders. 

§ 1 . We can imagine better than describe the blank dismay with 
which the Romans, on the departure of the Gauls, must have 
looked upon their ancient homes. Not only was the country 
ravaged, as had often happened in days of yore, but the City 
itself, except the Capitol, was a heap of ruins. It is not strange 
that once again the Plebeians should have thought of quitting 

o 2 


Rome for ever. Not long before they had wished to migrate to 
Veii ; now, they had actually been living there for many months. 
Rome no longer existed ; patriotism, they said, no longer re- 
quired them to stand by their ancient home ; why should not all 
depart — Patricians with their Clients and Freednien, as well as 
Plebeians — and make a new Rome at Veii ? In vain Camillus 
opposed these arguments with all the influence which his late 
services had given him. Standing in the Forum, under shadow 
of the Capitol, with the Citadel defended by Manlius over their 
heads, in the sight of their country's gods, now brought back 
from Caere, the Plebeians were ready to agree to a general migra- 
tion of the whole people, when (so runs the story) a sudden 
omen changed their hearts. A certain centurion was leading a 
party of soldiers through the city, and, halting them in the 
Forum while the question was in hot debate, he used these 
memorable words ; " Standard-bearer, pitch the* standard here; 
here it will be best for us to stay !" 

§ 2. It was therefore resolved to rebuild the city, and the 
Senate did all in their power to hasten on the work. They took 
care to retrace, as far as might be, the ancient sites of the 
temples ; but it was impossible to prescribe any rules for marking 
cut the streets and fixing the habitations of the citizens. All 
they did was to supply tiling for the houses at the public expense. 
So men built their houses where they could, where the ground 
was most clear of rubbish, or where old materials were most easy 
to be got. Hence, when these houses came to be joined together 
by others, so as to form streets, these streets were narrow and 
crooked, and, what was still worse, were often built across the 
lines of the ancient sewers, so that there was now no good and 
effectual drainage. The irregularity continued till Rome was again 
rebuilt after the great fire in the time of the Emperor Nero. 

§ 3. Great were the evils that were caused by this hurry. The 
healthiness • of the city must have been impaired, order and de- 
cency must have suffered, but there was one particular evil at 
the moment which threatened very great mischief. The mass of 
the people, having little or nothing of their own, or having lost 
all in the late destruction, w 7 ere obliged to borrow money in 
order to complete their dwellings : and as tillage had for the last 
season been nearly suspended, the want and misery that pre- 
vailed were great. Now again, as after the wars against the Tar- 
quins, many of the poorer sort were reduced to bondage in the 
houses of the wealthy. 

§ 4. Then it was that M. Manlius, the defender of the Capitol, 
stood forth as the patron of the poor. He saw a debtor being 
taken to prison, whom he recognised as a brave centurion that 

Chap. XIV. M. MANLIUS, 125 

had formerly served with him in the wars. He instantly paid 
the man's debt and set him free. Then, selling the best part of 
his landed property, he declared that, while he could prevent it, 
he would never see a fellow-citizen imprisoned for debt. His 
popularity rose high, and with the poorer sort the name of M. 
Manlius was more in esteem than that of the great Camillus. 
Nor did he content himself with relieving want ; he also stepped 
forward as an accuser of the Patricians and Senators : they had 
divided among themselves, he said, part of the gold which had 
been raised to pay the Gauls. On the other hand, the Patri- 
cians asserted that Manlius was endeavouring to make himself 
tyrant of Rome, and that this was the real; purpose of all his 
generosity. The Senate ordered a Dictator to be named, and 
Au. Cornelius Cossus was chosen. He summoned Manlius before 
him, and required him to prove the charge which he had mali- 
ciously brought against the ruling body. He failed to do so and 
was cast into prison, but claimed to be regularly tried before the 
whole People assembled in their Centuries; and his claim was 
allowed. On the appointed day he appeared in the Campus 
Martius, surrounded by a crowd of debtors, every one of whom 
he had redeemed from bondage. Then he exhibited spoils taken 
from thirty enemies slain by himself in single combat ; eight 
civic crowns, bestowed each of them for the life of a citizen 
saved in battle, with many other badges given him in token of 
bravery. He laid bare his breast and showed it all scarred with 
wounds, and then, turning to the Capitol, he called those gods to 
aid whom he had saved from the sacrilegious hands of the bar- 
barians. The appeal was felt, and if the Centuries had then 
given their votes, he would certainly have been acquitted of 
high treason. So his enemies contrived to break up that As- 
sembly ; and shortly after he was put on his trial in another 
place, the Peteline grove, whence (it is said) the Capitol could 
not be seen. Here he was at once found guilty, and condemned 
to be thrown down the Tarpeian rock. A bill was then brought 
in and passed, enacting that his house on the Capitol should be 
destroyed, and that no one of his Gens should hereafter bear the 
forename of Marcus.* 

§ 5. But something was done to relieve the poor. The lands 
which had been taken from the Veientines on the right bank of 
the Tiber were now incorporated into the Roman territory and 
divided into four Tribes, so that all free men settled in these 
districts became burgesses of Rome, and had votes in the Co- 
mitia both of the Centuries and Tribes. This politic measure, 

* It maybe observed that each gens et familia clung to the same forenames. 
Thus Publius, Lucius, Cnaeus, were favourite forenames of the Cornelii ; Caius 
of the Julii ; Appius of the Claudii ; and so on. 


however, served no less to conciliate the affections of their new 
Etrurian subjects than to benefit their own poor citizens. More- 
over an attempt was made to plant a number of poor citizens in 
the Pontine district. Yet these measures were insufficient to 
heal the breach which still subsisted between the Patricians and 
Plebeians. Nothing could be effectual to this end but the ad- 
mission of the Plebeians to the chief magistracy ; and a struggle 
now commenced for that purpose. 

§ 6. It has been said that all difference between the Patrician 
and Plebeian Orders was rapidly disappearing, or rather that the 
patrician families were gradually becoming fewer, while many 
plebeian families were rising to wealth and power. Already we 
have seen the Plebeians obtain a footing in the Senate ; already 
they were allowed to fill the offices of Quaestor and vEdile, and, 
as Military Tribunes, could command the armies of the state ; 
but to the highest curule offices, as the Censorship and Consul- 
ship, they were not admissible, the reason given being, that for 
these offices the auguries must be taken, and no religious rites 
could be performed save by persons of pure patrician blood. 
This now began to be felt to be a mockery. Men saw with their 
own eyes and judged with their own understanding that Patri- 
cians and Plebeians were men of like natures, were called on 
alike to share burthens and dangers in the service of the state, 
and therefore ought to share alike the honours and dignities 
which she conferred. So Canuleius argued many years before, 
so the Plebeians thought now ; and two resolute Tribunes arose, 
who at length carried the celebrated laws by which Plebeians 
were admitted to the highest honours. 

These were C. Licinius Stolo and L. Sextius his kinsman. 

§ 7. There is a well known story of the manner in which they 
were first roused to the undertaking. It runs thus. M. Fabius 
Ambustus, a Patrician, had two daughters, the elder married to 
Serv. Sulpicius, a Patrician, the younger to C. Licinius, a Ple- 
beian. It happened that Sulpicius was Consular Tribune in the 
same year that Licinius was Tribune of the Plebs ; and as the 
younger Fabia was on a visit to her sister, Sulpicius, returning 
home from the forum with his lictors, alarmed the Plebeian's 
wife by the noise he made in entering the house. The elder 
sister laughed at this ignorance ; and the younger Fabia, stung 
to the quick, besought her husband to place her on a level with 
her proud sister. It may be observed, by the way, that the 
story must be an invention ; — because Licinius' wife, being 
daughter of a man who had himself been Consular Tribune not 
long before, could not have been ignorant of the dignities of the 
office; and because there was nothing in the world to prevent 
Licinius himself from being Consular Tribune, and thus equal to 


his brother-in-law. No doubt Licinius and his kinsman were 
led by higher motives to bring forward their laws. 

§ 8. However this might be, Licinius and Sextius, being Tri- 
bunes of the Plebs together in the year 376 B.C., promulgated 
the three bills which have ever since borne the name of the 
Licinian Rogations. These were : » . 

I. That of all debts on which interest had been paid, the sum 
of the interest paid should be deducted from the principal, and 
the remainder paid off in three successive years. 

II. That no citizen should hold more than 500 jugera (nearly 
320 acres) of the Public Land, nor should feed on the public 
pastures more than 100 head of larger cattle and 500 of smaller, 
under penalty of a heavy tine. 

III. That henceforth Consuls, not Consular Tribunes, should 
always be elected, and that one of the two Consuls must be a 

Of these laws, the first is of a kind not very uncommon in 
rude states of society. If persons lend and borrow money they 
enter into a legal contract, and the State is bound to maintain 
this contract. Cases will occur when the borrower is unable to 
pay his debts, and that from no fault or neglect of his own ; and 
the laws proyide for cases of insolvency in which the insolvent 
is not guilty of fraud. But if the State were to cancel all legal 
debts, persons would be very slow to lend money at all, and thus 
credit and commerce would be destroyed. At Rome, after the 
Gallic war, as at Athens in the time of Solon (when a similar 
ordinance was passed),* all things were in such confusion that it 
might be necessary to resort to arbitrary measures ; and we may 
well believe that Licinius, himself a wealthy man, would not 
have interfered but for necessity. But the precedent was bad ; 
and in later times one of the worst means used by demagogues 
was a promise of novce tdbulce, or an abolition of all debts. 

The second law was a general Agrarian Law. Former agra- 
rian laws had merely divided certain portions of Public Land 
among the needy citizens ; but this laid down a general rule, by 
which the holding (possessio) of all such lands was to be limited. 
The purpose of Licinius was good. He wished to maintain that 
hardy race of yeomen who were the best soldiers in the state- 
militi'a; whereas if all these lands were absorbed by the rich, 
they would be cultivated i>y hired labourers or slaves. The sub- 
sequent history will show how unfortunate it was for Rome that 
this law was not, or could not be, more fully executed. 

These two laws were of a social nature, attempting to regulate 

* His famous cr^taaxOeia, or Disburthening Ordinance, by which all existing 
debts were wiped out. See Dr. Smith's History of Greece, chap, x. § 12. 


the private relations and dealings of the citizens ; the third was 
a political law, and needs no remark. 

§ 9. At first the Patricians were equally opposed to all these 
laws ; they were the chief creditors, and therefore would lose by 
the first law ; they held the bulk of the Public Lands on easy 
terms, and therefore would lose by the second ; they alone could 
be Consuls, and therefore they could not brook the third. It was 
then natural that they should offer a violent resistance ; nor is it 
wonderful that they should enlist many rich Plebeians on their 
side, for these persons would suffer as much as themselves from 
the first two laws. Accordingly we find that some Tribunes were 
found to put a veto on the bills. But Licinius and Sextius 
would not be thus thwarted, and themselves turned the power- 
ful engine of the veto against their opponents. When the time 
of the elections arrived they interdicted all proceedings in the 
Comitia of the Centuries : consequently no Consuls, Consular 
Tribunes, Censors, or Qusestors could be elected. The Tribunes 
and iEdiles, who were chosen at the Comitia of Tribes, were the 
only officers of state for the ensuing year. 

§ 10. This state of things (as the Roman annalists say) lasted 
for five years, Licinius and Sextius being re-elected to the Tri- 
bunate every year. But in the fifth year, when the people of 
Tusculum, old allies of Rome, applied for aid against the Latins, 
the Tribunes pei^mitted Consular Tribunes to be elected to lead 
the army, and among them was M. Fabius Ambustus, the father- 
in-law and friend of Licinius. The latter, far from relaxing his 
claims, now proposed a fourth bill, providing that, instead of 
two keepers of the Sibylline books (duumviri), both Patricians, 
there should be ten (decemviri), to be chosen alike from both 
Orders ; — so scornfully did he treat the pretensions of the Patri- 
cians to be sole ministers of religion. 

The latter felt that the ground was slipping from under them, 
and that the popular cause was daily gaining strength. In vain 
did the Senate order a Dictator to be named for the purpose of 
settling the matter in their favour. The great Camillus assumed 
the office for the fourth time, but resigned ; and P. Manlius Capi- 
tolinus, who was named presently after, effected nothing. 

§ 11. Once more, as when the Patricians were in opposition to 
the -Tribunes Terentilius and Canuleius, so now did the more 
moderate party propose a compromise. The law respecting the 
keepers of the Sibylline books was allowed to pass, and it was 
suggested that the two former of the Licinian Rogations, the 
two social laws, might be conceded, if the Plebeians would not 
press the political law, and claim admission to the highest curule 
rank. But this the Tribunes refused. They could not, they 
said, effectually remedy the social evils of their poor brethren 

Chap. XIV. ,< L. SEXTIUS. 129 

unless they had access to the highest political power ; and they 
declared they would not allow the first two Bills to become law 
unless the third was passed together with them, " If the people, 
will not eat/' said Licinius, " neither shall they drink." In vain 
the Patricians endeavoured to turn this declaration against 
them ; in vain they represented the Tribunes as ambitious men 
who cared not really for the wants of the poor in comparison of 
their own honour and dignity ; in vain the mass of the Plebeians 
avowed themselves ready to accept the compromise. The Tri- 
bunes set their faces like iron against the threats of the higher 
sort and the supplications of the lower. For another five years 
the grim conflict lasted, till at length their resolution pre- 
vailed, and in the year 367 B.C. all the three Licinian Rogations 
became law. 

This great triumph was achieved with little tumult (so far as 
we hear) and no bloodshed. Who can refuse his admiration to 
a people which could carry through their most violent changes 
with such calmness and moderation ? 

§ 12. But the Patricians, worsted as they were, had not yet 
shot away all their arrows. At the first election after these laws 
were passed, L. Sextius was chosen the first Plebeian Consul. 
Now the Consuls, though elected at the Comitia of the Cen- 
turies, were invested with the imperium or sovereign power by 
a law of the Curies.* This law the Patricians, who alone com- 
posed the Curies, refused to grant ; and to support this refusal 
the Senate had ordered Camillus, who was now some eighty 
years old, to be named Dictator for the fifth time. The old 
soldier, always ready to fight at an advantage, perceived that 
nothing now w r as practicable but an honourable capitulation. 
The Tribunes advised the people to submit to the Dictator, but 
declared that they would indict him at the close of his office ; 
and he, taking a calm view of the state of things, resolved to 
act as mediator. 

§ 13. The matter was finally adjusted by a further compro- 
mise. The Plebeian Consul was invested with the imperium ; 
but the judicial power was now taken from the Consuls and put 
into the hands of a supreme Patrician Judge, called the Praetor 
of the City (Prsetor Urbanus), and Sp. Camillus, son of the 
Dictator, was the first Praetor. A hundred men (centumviri) 
were named, to whom he might delegate all difficult cases not of 
a criminal nature. At the same time also another magistracy, 
the Curule iEdileship, was created, to be filled by Patricians and 
Plebeians in alternate years. These Curule iEdiles shared the 
duties of the Plebeian iEdiles, and besides this, had to superin- 

* Lex curiata de imperio. 

G 3 



Book II. 

tend the Great Games, for which they were allowed a certain 
sum from the Treasury. At the same time a fourth day was 
added to these games,* in honour of the Plebeians. 

§ 14. Thus the Patricians lost one of the Consulships, but re- 
tained part of the consular functions under other titles. And 
when Camillus had thus effected peace between the Orders, he 
vowed a temple to Concord ; but before he could dedicate it, the 
old hero died. The temple, however, was built according to his 
design ; its site, one of the best known points in the ruins of 
ancient Eome, can be traced at the North-western angle of the 
Forum, immediately under the Capitoline. The building was 
restored with great magnificence by the Emperor Tiberius ; and 
it deserved to be so, for it commemorated one of the greatest 
events of Roman history, — the final union of the two Orders, 
from which point we must date that splendid period on which 
we now enter. By this event was a single City enabled to con- 
quer, first all Italy, and then all the civilized countries of the 
known world, that is, all the peoples bordering on the Mediter- 
ranean Sea. 

* Ludi Magni or Romani. 

Reverse of As, with Ship's prow. 

M. Curtius. 



(b.c. 366—265.) 


SAMNITE WAK. (B.C. 366 — 344.) WARS FROM 389 — 344. 

§ 1. Difficulties of Social Reformation. § 2. Increased by pestilence : Gulf in 
Forum: Self-sacrifice of M. Curtius: also by Gallic inroads. § 3. Yain 
attempts to limit rate of Interest. § 4. Evasion of Second Licinian Law. 
§ 5. Attempts to set aside Third Licinian Law foiled: First Plebeian Dic- 
tator: First Plebeian Censor. § 6. Plebeian honours limited to a few 
families. § 7. Change in the course of Roman History. 

§ 8. Rising of Volscians, ^Equians, and Etruscans : Camillus. § 9. Six new 
Tribes. § 10. Latin League no longer existing : war with Latins. § 11. 
Second irruption of Gauls. § 12. Renewal of Latin League. § 13, War 
with the Tarquinians. §14. War with Caere. §15. Increased importance 
of Rome : Treaty with Carthage. 

§ 1. Various causes were for some time interposed to prevent 
the due execution of the Licinian laws. Indeed the first two of 


these measures, which aimed at social improvements, may be 
said to have failed. Social abuses are always difficult to correct. 
The evils are, in these cases, of slow growth ; their roots strike 
deep ; they can only be abated by altering the habits and feel- 
ings of the people, which cannot be effected in the existing 
generation ; they will not give way at once to the will of a law- 
giver, however good his judgment, however pure his motives, 
however just his objects. But the common difficulty of 
removing social evils was increased in Rome at this time by 

§ 2. For two years a pestilence raged in the city, which swept 
away great numbers of citizens and paralysed the industry of 
all. The most illustrious of its victims was Camillus, who died 
even more gloriously than he had lived, while discharging the 
office of peacemaker. About the same time the region of the 
City was shaken by earthquakes ; the Tiber overflowed his bed 
and flooded the Great Circus, so that the games then going on 
were broken off. Not long after a vast gulf opened in the 
Forum, as if to say that the meeting-place of the Roman People 
was to be used no more. The seers said that the gods forbade 
this gulf to close till that which Rome held most valuable were 
thrown into it. Then, when men were asking what this might 
be, a noble youth, named M. Curtius, said aloud that Rome's 
true riches were brave men, that nothing else so worthy could 
be devoted to the gods. Thus saying, he put on his armour, 
and mounting his horse, leaped into the gulf ; and straightway, 
says the legend, the earth closed and became solid as before ; 
and the place was called the Lacus Curtius for ever after.* 

To these direct visitations of God, the pestilence and the 
earthquake, was added a still more terrible scourge in the con- 
tinued inroads of the Gauls. It has been noticed above that in 
the years 361 and 349 B.c.f hordes of these barbarians again 
burst into Latium and again ravaged all the Roman territory. 

§ 3. These combined causes increased the distress of the poor, 
and we read without surprise that in the year 357 B.C., ten years 
after the passing of the Liciniari laws, a bill was brought forward 
by Duillius and Msenius, Tribunes of the Plebs, to restore the 
rate of interest fixed by the XII. Tables,J which in the late 
troubles had fallen into neglect ; and five years later (in 352) the 
Consuls brought forward a measure to assist the operation of 

* According to an older legend it derived its name from the Sabine 
champion, Mettus Curtius (chapt. i. § 9). Here is a notable example of the 
" double legend." The spot was called " the Lacus Curtius ;" and to account 
for the name two legends arose, one recent, the other of remote antiquity. 
- 1 Chapt. xiii, § 10. X Chapt. x. § 25, (2). 


the Licinian law of debt. They appointed Five Commissioners 
(quinqueviri), with power to make estimates of all debts and of 
the property of the debtors. This done, the Commissioners 
advanced money to discharge the debt, so far as it was covered 
by the property of the debtor. The measure was wise and useful, 
but could only be partial in its effects. It could not help those 
debtors who had no property, or not enough property to pay 
their debts withal. Hence we find that in another five years 
(347 b.c) the rate of interest was reduced to 5 per cent. ;* and 
some years afterwards it was tried to abolish interest altogether. 
But, laws to limit interest proved then, as they have proved ever 
since, ineffectual to restrain the practices of grasping and dis- 
honest usurers. 

§ 4. There were, then, great difficulties in the way of a law for 
relieving debtors. These were increased, as has been seen, by 
circumstances, and, as we must now add, by the selfishness and 
dishonesty of the rich Patricians and Plebeians, who held the 
bulk of the Public Land in their own hands, and contrived to 
evade the Licinian law in the following way. If a man held more 
than 500 jugera, he emancipated his son and made over a portion 
of the land nominally to him, or, if he had no son, to some other 
trusty person. With sorrow we hear of these practices, and with 
still greater sorrow we learn that C. Licinius himself was indicted 
by the Curule iEdile, M. Popillius Lsenas, for fraudulently making 
over 500 jugera to his son, while he held another 500 in his own 
name. Thus this remedy for pauperism was set aside and neg- 
lected, till the Gracchi arose and vainly endeavoured, after more 
than two centuries of abuse, to correct that which at first might 
have been prevented. 

§ 5. The law for equalising political power was more effective. 
For eleven years after the Licinian law one Consul was always a 
Plebeian. Then the Patricians made one last struggle to recover 
their exclusive privilege ; and in the year 355 B.C. we have a 
Sulpicius and a Valerius as Consuls, both of them Patricians ; 
and in the course of the next dozen years we find the law violated 
in like manner no less than seven times. After that it was regu- 
larly observed, one Consul being Patrician and the other Plebeian, 
till at length in the year 172 B.C., when the patrician families had 
greatly decreased, both Consulships were opened to the Plebeians, 
and from that time forth the offices were held by men of either 
order without distinction. 

These violations of the law above mentioned were effected by 
the power by which the Senate ordered the Patrician Consul to 
name a Dictator. At least in the space of twenty-five years after 
* Focnus semi unciari urn. 


the Licinian laws we have no fewer than fifteen Dictators. Now 
several of these were appointed for sudden emergencies of war, 
such as the Gallic invasions of 361 and 349. But often we find 
Dictators when there is no mention of foreign war. In the year 
360 we find that both the Consuls enjoyed a triumph, and not 
the Dictator. These and other reasons have led to the belief 
that these Dictators were appointed to hold the Consular Comitia, 
and brought the overbearing weight of their political power to 
secure the election of two Patrician Consuls. 

But if this were the plan of the Patricians, it availed not. 
After the year 343 B.C. the law was regularly observed, by which 
one Consul was necessarily a Plebeian. The Plebeians also forced 
their way to other offices. C. Marcius Rutilus, the most distin- 
guished Plebeian of his time, who was four times elected Consul, 
was named Dictator in the year 356 B.C., no doubt by the Ple- 
beian Consul Popillius Lsenas ; and five years later (351) we find 
the same Marcius elected to the Censorship. 

§ 6. Practically, therefore, the political reform of Licinius and 
Sextius had been effectual so far as the admission of Plebeians 
to the highest offices of state was concerned. It must be 
remarked, however, that these privileges, though no longer 
engrossed by Patricians, seem to ha,ve been open only to a few 
wealthy plebeian families. C. Marcius Rutilus, as we have just 
remarked, held the Consulship four times in sixteen years (357- 
342). M. Popillius Laenas four times in twelve years (359-348), 
C. Poetelius Libo and Q. Publilius Philo enjoyed a similar mono- 
poly of honours. 

§ 7. As the exclusive privileges of the Patricians thus gradually 
and quietly gave way, instead of being maintained (as in modern 
France) till swept away by the violent tide of revolution, so did 
the power of the Senate rise. It was by the wisdom or policy 
of this famous assembly that the City of Rome became mistress 
of Italy and of the World ; but a more convenient place for ex- 
amining its altered constitution will occur hereafter. At present 
we proceed with our proper task. Hitherto the contest has been 
internal, of citizen against citizen, in order to gain an equality 
of rights. Henceforth, for two hundred years, we shall have 
to relate contests with foreign people, and the subject of this 
Book is to give an account of the conquest of Italy, for which 
the Roman Senate and People, now at length politically united, 
were prepared. 

§ 8. Abroad, after the burning of the City, Rome had once 
more to struggle for very existence. Before the City was so far 
restored as to be habitable, it was announced that the iEquians 


and Volscians were in arfns. The iEquians seem to have shared 
in the general disaster caused by the Gallic inroad ; henceforth 
at least the part they play is insignificant. But the Volscians 
boldly advanced to Lanuvium, and once more encamped at the 
foot of the Alban Hills. The city was in great alarm ; and 
Camillus was named Dictator for the exigency. He defeated 
them with great loss, and pursued them into their own territory, 
He then marched rapidly to Boise, to which place the iEquians 
had advanced, and gained another victory. 

But in the moment of triumph news came that Etruria was 
in arms. The Etruscans hoped by a brave effort to recover the 
territory which the Romans had for • the second time appro- 
priated. A force was sent against them ; but so completely was 
it routed on the Nones of July, that this day was noted in the 
Kalendar as the Poplifuga. Siege was then laid to Sutrium by 
the victors, and it fell. But the prompt Dictator, on the first 
alarm, marched his troops straight from Boise to the point of 
danger ; and on the very day on which Sutrium had yielded to 
the foe, it was again taken by the Eoman General. Thus 
Camillus again appears as the Saviour of Rome. He enjoyed 
a threefold triumph over the Volscians, the iEquians, and the 
Etrurians (389 B.C.) 

§ 9. It was two years after, that the Etruscan territory, now 
effectually conquered, was formed into four Tribes.* By the 
addition of these new Tribes, the first that had been added since 
this very territory had been wrested from Rome by Porsenna, 
the whole number was raised to twenty-five. The late assault 
of the Etruscans, perhaps, suggested the wisdom of making the 
free inhabitants of this district citizens of Rome. Men who had 
lately been subject to the oppressive government of a civic 
oligarchy, being now mingled with Roman Plebeians who had 
received allotments in the district, and seeing the comparative 
freedom of all Roman Burgesses, were sure to fight for Rome 
rather than join in an insurrection against her. Here was the 
beginning of that sagacious policy, which for a time led political 
enfranchisement hand in hand with conquest. Thirty years later 
(358 B.C.) the Senate pursued the same course with respect to 
the Pontine district and other lowlands which had been reco- 
vered from the grasp of the Volscians. A settlement of poor 
Plebeians, which was attempted in 387 B.C., failed : the emigrants 
were cut off by the Voiscian hills-men. But the territory being 
now formed into two Tribes, so as to make the whole number 

* See chapt. xiv. § 5. The names of these four tribes were the Stellatine, 
Tromentine, Sabatine, Aniene. Liv. vi. 5. 


twenty-seven, the inhabitants had an interest in repressing pre- 
datory inroads.* 

§ 10. Before the promulgation of the Licinisfri laws, there had 
been threatenings of greater danger than was to be feared either 
from Etruscans or Volscians. The Latins and Hernicans, who 
since the time of Sp. Cassius had fought by the side of Rome in 
all her border wars, no longer appeared in this position. The 
inroad of the Gauls had broken up the League. Rome had been 
reduced to ashes, and was left in miserable weakness. Many of 
the thirty Latin towns, the names of which occur in the League 
of Cassius, were so utterly destroyed, that the antiquary in vain 
seeks for their site in the desolation of the Campagna. But the 
two important cities of Tibur and Pnenest6 (Tivoh and Pales- 
trina), perched on steep-scarped rocks, defying the rude arts of 
the invader, had gained strength by the ruin of their neighbours, 
and appear as independent Communities, standing apart from 
the rest of Latium and from Rome. It was believed that the 
Prsenestines encouraged the Volscians in their inroads, and in 
382 B.C. war was declared against them. Some of the Latin 
cities joined Praeneste ; others sought protection against her 
from Rome. In this war even .the Tusculans deserted Rome. 
But after a struggle of five years, the Dictator, T. Quinctius, took 
nine insurgent cities, and blockaded Prceneste itself, which capi- 
tulated on terms of which we are not informed. Soon after 
Tusculum also was recovered ; and for the present all fear of the 
Latins subsided. 

§ 11. During the long internal struggle which ended in the 
passing of the Licinian laws, the annals are silent respecting 
foreign wars. But a few years after the Temple of Concord had 
been erected by old Camillus, fresh alarms arose. The Hernicans 
gave signs of disquietude. War was declared against them in 
362 n.c. Next year came the second inroad of the Gauls, and it 
was observed with consternation, that this terrible foe occupied 
the valley of the Anio, and was not molested either by the Latins 
of Tibur or by the Hernicans. In the year 360 B.C. the Fasti 
record a triumph of the Consul Fabius over this last-named 
people, and another of his colleague Poetelius over the men of 
Tibur and the Gauls — an ominous conjunction. 

§ 12. But this new inroad of the barbarians, which threatened 
Rome with a second ruin, really proved a blessing; for the 
remaining Latin cities, which in the late conflicts had stood 
aloof, terrified by the presence of the Gauls, and seeing safety 
only in union, now renewed their league with Rome, and the 

* The Pontine and Publilian. Liv. vii. 15. 


Hernicans soon after followed their example. The glory of con- 
cluding this second league belongs to 0. Plautius, the plebeian 
consul of the year 358 B.C. The Gauls now quitted Latium ; 
and Privernurn and Tibur, the only Latin cities which rejected 
the alliance, were both compelled to yield (357, 354 B.C.) 

§ 13. While these dangers were successfully averted on the 
north-eastern frontier, war had been declared against Rome by 
the powerful Etruscan city of Tarquinii, which lies beyond the 
Ciminian Hills. This was in the very year in which the new 
League was formed w 7 ith the Latins and Hernicans (358 B.C.). 
But for this, it is hard to imagine that Rome, exhausted as she 
was, could have resisted the united assaults of Gauls, Volscians, 
Latins, Hernicans, and Etruscans. As it was, she found it hard 
to repel the Tarquinians. This people made a sudden descent 
from the hills, defeated the Consul C. Fabius, and sacrificed 
three hundred and seven Roman prisoners to their gods. Two 
years later they were joined by the Faliscans. Bearing torches 
in their hands, and having their hair wreathed into snake-like 
tresses, they attacked the Romans with savage cries, and drove 
them before them. They overran the four new Tribes, and 
threatened Rome itself. Then M. Popillius Lsenas, the Plebeian 
Consul, being ordered by the Senate to name a Dictator, named 
another Plebeian, C. Marcius Rutilus, the first of his order who 
was advanced to this high office ; and his conduct justified the 
appointment. The enemy was defeated. The Senate refused a 
triumph to the Plebeian ; but the People in their Tribes voted 
that he should enjoy the well-earned honour. 

§ 14. For a moment the people of Csere, the old allies of the 
Roman people, who had given shelter to their sacred things, 
their women and children, in the panic of the Gallic invasion, 
joined the war ; but almost immediately after sued for peace. 
The Romans, however, remembered this defection, as we shall 
have to mention in a future page.* The Tarquinians were again 
defeated in a great battle. Three hundred and fifty-eight pri- 
soners were scourged and beheaded in the Forum to retaliate for 
former barbarity. In the year 351 B.C. a peace of forty years was 
concluded, after a struggle of eight years* duration. 

§ 15. It was not more than two years after the conclusion of 
this war that the third inroad of the Gauls took place, of which 
we have above spoken, when L. Valerius gained his name of 
Corvus.f Thus remarkably was Rome carried through the dangers 
of intestine strife and surrounding wars. When she was at strife 
within, her enemies were quiet. Before each new assault began, 
a former foe had retired from the field, and Rome rose stronger 
* Chapt. xxiii. §§ 11, 12. t Chapt. xiii. § 10. 



Book III. 

from every fall. She had now recovered all the Latin coast-land 
from the Tiber to Circeii ; and her increasing importance is 
shown by a renewed treaty with the great commercial city of 
Carthage,* Bat a more formidable enemy was now to be encoun- 
tered than had as yet challenged Rome to conflict ; and a larger 
area opened to her ambition. In the course of a very few years 
after the last event of which we have spoken the First Samnite 

War began. 

* Liv. vii. 27, Oros. iii. 7. 


Etruscan Walling. 
From Dennis* ' Cities and Cemeteries of Ktruria/ 

Coin with Samnite Bull goring the Roman Wolf, struck in the Social War. 


FIRST SAMNITE WAR. (B.C. 343 — 341.) 

§ 1. Origin and geographical position of the Samnites. § 2. Samniles a 
pastoral people. § 3. They spread from their mountains over various parts 
of the coast. Campania. Their Colonists become their enemies. § 4. 
Causes of the War. § 5. First year of the War : battle of Mount Gaurus 
gained by Valerius Corvus : other victories : peace concluded. § 6. First 
Reason : Mutiny of Roman Legions wintering in Campania. They advance 
to Bovilla?, and are joined by Plebeians from the City. § 7. Difference 
between this and former Secessions. It is put down by Valerius. § 8. Laws 
for improving the condition of soldiers. § 9. Genucian Laws. Laws for 
relieving Debtors : remarks. § 10. Second Keason deferred to next 

§ 1. We must now carry our eyes beyond the plain of Latium, 
and penetrate into Campania and the valleys of the Apennines, 
of which, as yet, our History has taken no count. 

The Sabines are a people connected with the earliest legends 
of Rome. But the Sabines of Cures and the country between 
the Anio and the Tiber are those who have hitherto engaged our 
attention. It is in the highlands of l\eate and Amiternum that 
we must search for the cradle of the race. The valleys of this 
high district afford but scanty subsistence ; and the hardy moun- 
taineers ever and anon cast off swarms of emigrants, who sought 
other homes, and made good their claim by arms. It was a 
custom of the Sabellian tribes, when famine threatened and popu- 
lation became dense, to devote the whole produce of one spring- 
time to the gods.* Among other produce, the youth born in 
that year were dedicated to the god Mamers (Mars), and went 
forth to seek their fortunes abroad. On one such occasion the 
emigrants, pressing southward from the Sabine high lands, occu- 
pied the broad mountainous district which lies northward of 
Campania, and took the name of Samnites. The Picenians and 

* This was called a Ver sacrum. 


Frentanians, on the north coast, with the four allied Cantons of 
the Vestinians, Marrucinians, Pelignians, and Marsians, who were 
interposed between the Samnites and their ancestral Sabines, 
claimed kin with both nations. The Samnites themselves also 
formed four Cantons — the Caracenians, Pentrians, Caudinians, 
and Hirpinians. Of these the Pentrians were far the most con- 
siderable ; they occupied the rugged mountain district between 
the upper valleys of the Vulturnus and the Calor. Here a great 
mass of mountains, now known by the name of Mount Matese, 
rises boldly from the central chain to the height of more than 
6000 feet ; and its steep defiles offer defences of great natural 
strength. But the remains of massive polygonal masonry, which 
are still seen on .the rocky heights occupied by their towns of 
iEsernia and Bovianum (Isernia and Bojano), show that the 
Samnites used art to strengthen their natural defences. Below 
Mount Matese, in the valley of the Calor, lay the Canton of the 
Caudinians, whose town of Beneventum (anciently called Male- 
ventum or Maliessa) was also made strong by art. It is within 
these limits, from iEsernia to Beneventum, that the scenes of 
the chief campaigns of the Samnite wars were laid. 

§ 2. From the nature of their country the Samnites were a 
pastoral people. Their mountains break into numberless valleys, 
sloping both north and south, well watered, and fresh even in 
the summer heats. Into these valleys, as is still the practice of 
the country, the flocks were driven from the lower lands, ascend- 
ing higher as the heats increased, and descending towards the 
plain as autumn inclined towards winter. 

§ 3. But the Samnites were not contented with these mountain- 
homes. As they had themselves been sent forth from a central 
hive, so in time they cast forth new swarms of emigrants. In 
early times a Samnite tribe, under the name of Frentanians, had 
taken possession of the coast -lands north of Apulia. Other bands 
of adventurous settlers pushed down the Vulturnus and Calor into 
the rich plain that lay beneath their mountains, to which they 
gave the name of Campania, or the champagne-land. In earlier 
times this fair plain had attracted Etruscan conquerors ; and its 
chief city^ anciently called Vulturnum, is said from them to have 
received the lasting name of Capua. But about the year 423 B.C., 
nearly a century before the time of which we are presently to 
speak, a band of Samnites seized this famous city, and reduced 
the ancient Oscan inhabitants to the condition of clients. Soon 
after, the great Greek city of Cumse^ which then gave name to the 
Bay of Naples, was conquered by the new lords of Capua, who 
from this time forth, under the name of Campanians, became the 
dominant power of the country. In course of time, however, the 


Samnitcs of Capua, or the Campanians, adopted the language and 
customs of their Oscan subjects. Hence the Campanian Sam- 
nites broke off their connexion with the old Samnites of the 
mountains, just as the Roman Sabines lost all sympathy with 
the old Sabines of Cures, and as in England the Anglo-Normans 
became the national enemies of the French. 

It may be added that the Lucanians and Apulians, who 
stretched across the breadth of Italy below Campania, were 
formed by a mixture of Samnite invaders with the ancient popu- 
lation, themselves a compound of Oscan and Pelasgian races ;* 
while the Bruttians, who occupied the mountainous district south 
of the Gulf of Tarenturn, were a similar offcast from the Lucanians. 
But these half-Sabellian tribes, like the old races from whom the 
Samnites came, lent uncertain aid to their kinsmen in the struggle 
with Rome. 

§ 4. These remarks will prepare us for the great conflict which 
in fact determined the sovereignty of Italy to be the right of the 
Roman, and not of the Samnite people. The first war arose out 
of a quarrel such as we have just alluded to between the Cam- 
panians and the old Samnites of the Matese. In the year 354 B.C. 
a league had been concluded with the Romans and the Samnites. 
Since that time, Samnite adventurers had been pressing down 
the valley of the Liris, and had taken the Volscian cities of Sora 
and Fregellse, while the Romans, combined with the Latins again 
since the year 358 B.C., were forcing back the Volscians from the 
west. In 343 B.C. the Samnites pursued their encroachments so 
far as to assail Teanum, the chief city of the Sidicines, an Oscan 
tribe, who occupied the lower hills in the north of Campania. 
The Sidicines demanded the aid of Capua against their assailants ; 
and the Campanians, venturing to give this aid, drew upon their 
own heads the wrath of the mountaineers. The Samnites took 
possession of Mount Tifata, a bare hill which overhangs Capua on 
the north, and plundered at will the rich plain below. Unable to 
meet the enemy in the field, the degenerate Campanians entreated 
the assistance of the Roman and Latin League. There was some 
difficulty in listening to this application ; for a treaty of peace 
had been concluded eleven years before, and no aggression against 
Rome was chargeable upon the Samnites. But it is probable 
that their progress in the valleys of the Liris and Vulturnus had 
alarmed the Senate ; and all scruples were removed when the 
Campanians offered to surrender their city absolutely, so that 
in defending them Rome would be defending her own subjects. 
This quibbling bargain was struck, and war was declared against 
the Samnites. 

* Introduction, Sect. II. § 8. 


§ 5. The Consuls of the year were both Patricians, Au. Corne- 
lius Cossus, and M. Valerius Corvus, whose single combat with the 
Gaul has been mentioned more than once. Apart from legendary 
tales, it is evident that Valerius was the most considerable man 
at Rome, now that Camillus was no more. He was in his 
third Consulship, and thrice in future years he held the same 
high office. To extreme old age he continued in the service of 
the state, and his last Consulships were employed in assisting to 
remove the last traces of disunion between the Orders. If the 
Licinian Law was to be broken, it could not be broken in favour 
of a worthier than M. Valerius. 

Each Consul led two legions separately into the field, with an 
equal number of Latin Allies. Valerius was to drive the Samnites 
out of Campania, Cossus was to invade the Pentrian valleys But 
the details of the campaign are unintelligible. Valerius gained a 
great victory over the Samnites on Mount Gaurus, which lies 
near Baiae on the sea-coast. No sooner was the battle won, than 
news reached Valerius that Cossus was entangled in a Samnite 
defile, and was shut in by the enemy on all sides. From this 
danger he was relieved by the valour and conduct of a legionary 
tribune, P. Decius Mus, the first-named of an illustrious plebeian 
family. Then, say the Roman annals, Cossus attacked the Sam- 
nites and defeated them. It is added that Valerius joined him 
directly after, and the united forces overthrew the enemy in a 
third battle. 

Next spring, instead of continuing the w r ar, the Romans con- 
cluded a treaty of alliance with the enemy, by which the Sidicines 
and Campanians were left entirely at their mercy. The causes 
of this unexpected change of policy were two-fold : first, a re- 
newal of discord between the two Orders of the Roman People 
secondly, the uneasy feeling which showed itself between the 
Romans and their Latin Allies. 

§ 6. It has been shown above that the pressure of the laws of 
debt continued, and that there was a systematic attempt to 
evade the Licinian Law in the election of Consuls. The dis- 
content thus caused, long smouldering, broke out into flame 
among the legionaries who were wintering in Campania. They 
compared that rich and beautiful country with the sullen gloom 
of the Roman territory, and the luxurious life of the Campanian 
people with their own rude and sparing habits ; and they formed 
(as we are told) a design to imitate the old Samnites in making 
themselves lords of this happy land. When 0. Marcius, the 
new Consul, came to the army in the year 342 B.C., he found the 
men more ready to mutiny than to take the field. An attempt 
was made to check this spirit by drafting off the most unruly, 


and sending them home under various pretences. But as these 
men passed Lautulse, a place near Terracina, which commanded 
the road over the Volscian Hills, they found the cohort that 
had been posted to defend this pass ready to mutiny, and 
those who were on their way home agreed to join them. The 
insurgents, being joined by many others from the army, forced 
an old Patrician, whom they found dwelling at his country-house, 
to be their leader ; and encamped at Bovillae, in front of the 
Alban Hills. Upon this, the disaffected within the city also 
rose, and joined the mutineers in their camp. 

§ 7. Here was another of those Secessions of which we have 
heard so much. But now, be it observed, the Secession was not 
of the whole Plebeian Order, but only of the poorer sort, who 
felt oppressed by debt. Against these were arrayed not only the 
Patncians and their Clients, but the wealthier Plebeians, and all 
who wished to maintain order in the state ; and this great party 
showed their sincerity by procuring that M. Valerius Corvus, a 
man as famous for moderation as for bravery, should be appointed 
Dictator, to put an end to the sedition. He was able to collect 
an imposing force, with which he approached the camp of the 
insurgents. But Roman- citizens were not yet so reckless of 
blood as willingly to engage in civil war ; and when the two 
armies met, they were overpowered, the one by pity, the other 
by remorse, and the soldiers of each party embraced each other. 

§ 8. The leaders of the army were then allowed to propose two 
Laws : first, that no citizen should be struck off the military roll, 
except for some crime ; secondly, that no one who had served 
as legionary Tribune should be called on to act as centurion. 
The first law was a boon to the debtors ; for persons serving in 
the army were protected from their creditors. The second arose 
from the case of one who had been vexatiously degraded to a 
subaltern rank by his patrician general ; and the Plebeians were 
the more willing to maintain the dignity of the Tribunes, since 
the election of six out of the twenty-four had recently been con- 
ceded to the Legions themselves.* 

§ 9. Such were the concessions made to the army. At home 
greater changes followed. A Law was carried, enacting that all 
debts then existing should be cancelled, and that for the future 
no interest was to be taken for money lent. This second pro- 
vision was simply absurd. It was the same thing as forbidding , 
the loan of money at all ; no one will lend without some profit 
to cover the risk of loss. The former provision, cancelling all 

* The regular number of Legions was four, two to each Consul, and there 
were six Tribunes to each Legion. At a later time, the people elected 18 out 
cf the 24. 


debts, was a more violent and dangerous form of the first Lici- 
nian Law. The Licinian Law struck certain sums off the debts, 
providing for the payment of the rest ; this new Law abolished 
the debts altogether. What was said of the former law must be 
repeated here. Such laws, declaring general insolvency, can only 
be justified by absolute necessity, and never can be enacted in a 
settled state of society. That such laws were necessary may be 
inferred from the fact that Valerius suffered them to pass. 
Society was already so disorganised, that even such a law did 
not make it worse : nay, from this time forth we may date im- 
provement ; for henceforth we hear no more of free Romans 
binding themselves as slaves to their creditors. 

§ 10. The second cause which, joined to these intestine com- 
motions, operated to promote the Samnite peace, was so im~ 
portant, and was followed by results so considerable, that it 
must form the subject of a separate Chapter. 

Roman Soldiers. 



§ 1. Review of the relations between Rome and Latium. § 2. Proposals of 
the Latin Cities for a union with Rome. § 3. Contemptuously rejected. 
§ 4. Manlius and Decius, Consuls, march into Campania. § 5. Roman and 
Latin armies meet under Vesuvius : military system of Rome : identical 
with that of Latins. § 6. Order against single combats. § 7. Manlius 
condemns his son for disobeying.. §8. Battle of Vesuvius : self-sacrifice 
of Decius. § 9. Mournful triumph of Manlius. § 10. Conclusion of the 
War. § 11. Large quantity of Public Land gained by the War: a portion 
distributed to the poor Plebeians. §12. Publilian Laws. §13. Principle 
on which the Latin Cities were treated. § 14. Public and Private Rights; 
how granted to foreigners. §15. Previous privileges of Latins. §16. New 
arrangements, of three kinds. § 17. Settlement of the Campanian Cities. 

§ 1. The hostile disposition visible among the Latin Communi- 
ties operated still more strongly than domestic troubles to in- 
cline Eome to peace ; for it must never be forgotten that when 
a Eoman army took the field, half of it was composed of Latins. 

It has been said that after the burning of the City in 390 B.C. 
the Latins stood aloof from Rome, while Prseneste and Tibur 
assumed a position of defiance. But in 358 B.C. the old League 
had been renewed, and the Latins again joined Eome in warring 
first against the Volscians and Etruscans, and finally against the 
Samnites. But the Senate knew that the confederacy of Latin 
Cities intended to claim equality with Eome ; and it was no 
doubt to strengthen themselves against such claim that now, in 

ROME. h 


the year 341 B.C., they not only made peace with the Sarnnites, 
but concluded an alliance with that people. Thus the Latins 
alone continued in league with the Sidicines and Campanians, 
while the Romans united themselves with the Sarnnites, the 
mortal enemies of the very tribes who had lately been under the 
protection of Rome. 

§ 2. When Rome formed a separate league with the Sarnnites, 
she broke faith with the Latins. Her conduct made it clear 
that Latium must either submit entirely to her rival, or assert 
her independence in arms. In the year 340 B.C. the united 
cities of Latium sent their two Prsators (who were elected every 
year like the Consuls at Rome), together with the ten chiefs of 
their Senate to propose terms of union. Rome and Latium were 
henceforth to form one state, Rome being allowed to remain as 
the seat of government ; but of the two Consuls, one was to be 
a Latin. The Senate was to be doubled by the admission of 300 
Latin members ; and no doubt the Latin territory was to be 
divided into Tribes, which would have equal votes with those of 
old Rome at the Comitia. 

The proposal was fair enough, and it may be thought that Rome 
might have accepted it without loss of honour ; for, not long after, 
most of the Latin cities formed the centres of new Tribes, and 
some of the most distinguished men of later times were of Latin 
origin. But the conduct of the Latin cities had not been such as 
to warrant confidence, and it is probable that a Union now formed, 
when neither nation was willing to acknowledge the supremacy 
of the other, would not have been more lasting than that of Hol- 
land and Belgium in our own times. The Latins now proposed 
it only under fear of the Gauls and Sarnnites, and when that fear 
was removed, they would probably have broken it up. 

§ 3. It is not likely, however, that politic reasons of this kind 
influenced the Romans in rejecting it. Rude nations generally 
act on impulse rather than on reason ; and the story shows that 
Roman pride was touched, rather than Roman interests. 

The Senate, says the Legend, met to receive the Latin depu- 
ties iii the temple of Capitoline Jupiter, at the head of the Sacer 
Clivus. When the deputies had spoken, the Fathers were 
filled with wrath, and their mind was uttered by T. Manlius 
Torquatus, Patrician Consul, the same who had earned his sur- 
name in single fight against a Gaul. " If, ,? said he, " the Roman 
Senate were so dead of heart as to admit these proposals, I my- 
self would come down to the Senate-house sword in hand, and 
slay the first Latin who should presume to cross this holy 
threshold." Angry words followed, in the course of which L. 
Annius of Setia,- one of the Latin Praetors, spoke lightly of the 


great god of the Capitol, beneath whose temple they were stand- 
ing. Then, to avenge his majesty, burst forth lightning and 
thunder ; and the Latin, turning hastily to depart, fell headlong 
down the steps of the. temple and was killed. 

§ 4. But while the Senate were receiving deputies, they were 
preparing for war. Their Patrician Consul was, as has been 
mentioned, the famous T. Manlius, and his Plebeian colleague 
was the no less famous P. Decius Mus, who had saved the army 
of Cossus in the Samnite war. The Consuls boldly resolved to 
leave Rome under the protection of the Praetor, while they 
marched through the friendly passes of the Sabines, Marsians, 
and Pelignians into Samnium, there to unite with a Samnite 
force and descend upon Capua. This bold stroke succeeded. 
The Latin army marched hastily southward to protect their 
Oscan allies, and it was in the plains of Campania that the fate 
of Rome and Latium was to be decided. 

§ 5. When the two armies met under Mount Vesuvius, they 
lay opposed to one another, neither party choosing to begin the 
fray. It was almost like a civil war ; Romans and Latins spoke 
the same language ; their armies had long fought side by side 
under common generals; their arms, discipline, and tactics were 
the same. 

And here we will follow Livy in giving an account of the Ro- 
man army as at that time constituted. 

In the old times the Roman army had been drawn up in close 
order like the Greek phalanx, so as to act by weight. The 
front-ranks were armed with the long pike or spear (Iiasta) 
and the large round shield (clipeus, acnrls). Locking their shields 
together, with their spear-points bristling in front, they formed 
a mass irresistible so long as it remained unbroken. This order 
of battle was carried to perfection by Philip of Maccdon, and we 
shall speak further of it when we come to the Macedonian wars. 

The Romans made this heavy mass a living body. Their 
citizens were fighting for their country, fit for something better 
than to be mere machines. The soldiers of the Republic were 
armed, not with the long pike, but with two heavy javelins, 
called pila, which they were taught to throw with great effect, 
and a short strong sword, fit alike for striking and thrusting.* 
They exchanged the heavy round shield for a lighter one of 
oblong shape (scutum), curved so as to defend the side - as well as 
the front. Thus armed, they stood at a distance of a yard from 
their right and left hand men, so as to allow free room for the 
use of their weapons. The men of each rear-rank stood, not 
directly behind their front-rank men, but so as to cover the 
space between two, like the knots in net- work (in quincuncem 

* Jhegladius Hispanus—see Liv. vii. 10. 



dispositi). Thus, when the front-rank men had discharged their 
pila they fell back, and their rear-rank stepped forward, so as to 
come in front and discharge their pila in turn. Meanwhile the 
original front-rank was falling back to the rear, and each rear- 
rank was gradually coming up to be ready to take their turn in 
front. When the enemy was thrown into confusion by this con- 
tinued fire, the whole body advanced to close combat, and com- 
pleted the w 7 ork of defeat with their swords.' 

Now in the times of Marius and Caesar, who conquered the 
Germans and Gauls with tactics of this kind, the whole legion 
was armed alike, being divided into ten cohorts, and each cohort 
into three maniples or six centuries, each century being com- 
manded by a centurion. 

But this uniformity of system did not yet prevail. At this 
time the legion consisted of three battalions, each 1200 strong, 
and to these were attached a body of light troops, bowmen and 
siingers (rorarii), and also an unarmed body called accensi, be- 
cause they were added to the rate-paying citizens (censi), to serve 
as attendants. Of the three battalions the foremost was called 
Hastati, because they were still armed with the long pike, like 
the old phalanx. Behind these were the Principes, being the 
first in rank among the citizens, armed with the sword and pilum * 
In rear, of the Principes were placed the standards of the whole 
army, so that these two front battalions were called Ante-signani. 
Behind the standards were ranged the third battalion, called 
Triarii, composed of the most experienced soldiers, destined to 
act as a reserve, and bring aid to any part of the front battalions 
which seemed to be in difficulty. 

To each legion was attached; a, squadron (ala) of 300 horse ; but 
the horse-soldiers of Rome were always inefficient ; her chief de- 
pendence was on her infantry. 

§ 6. This system, at the time we speak of, was common both 
to Romans and Latins. They had been used to fight side by 
side, and in each army there were many men and officers who 
were personally connected with those in the other. Under these 
circumstances the Roman commanders ordered that there should 
be no communication between the armies. It was also strictly 
forbidden to accept any challenge to single combat. All strength 
was to be reserved for the great battle which was to determine 
the fate of the two nations. 

§ 7. The Latin horsemen, conscious of superiority, used every 
endeavour to provoke the Romans ; and at length young Manlius, 
son of the Consul, stung to the quick by the taunts of Geminus 
Metius, a Latin champion, accepted his challenge. The young 

* In earlier times the Triarii alone seem to have carried pila, whence tfrev 
were called Pilani, and. the two front battalions Ahte-pilani. 


Roman conquered, and returned to the camp to lay the spoils of 
the enemy at his father's feet. But the spirit of Brutus was not 
dead ; and the stern Consul, unmindful of his own feelings and 
the pleading voices of the whole army, condemned his son to 
death for disobedience to orders. 

§ 8. In the night before the battle each of the Consuls was 
visited by an ominous dream, by which it was revealed that 
whichever army first lost its general should prevail ; and they 
agreed that he whose division first gave ground should devote 
himself to the gods of the lower world. In the morning, when 
the auspices were taken, the liver of the victim offered on the 
part of Decius was defective, while that of Manlius was perfect. 
And the event confirmed the omen ; for Manlius, who com- 
manded the right division, held his ground, while the legions 
of Decius on the left gave way. Then Decius, mindful of his 
vow, sent for Valerius, the Chief Pontiff, to direct him how 
duly to devote himself. He put on his toga, the robe of peace, 
after the Gabine fashion, bringing the end or lappet under 
the right arm and throwing it over his head ; and then, stand- 
ing on a javelin, he pronounced a solemn form of words, by 
which he devoted the army of the enemy along with himself to 
the gods of death and to the grave. Then he leaped upon his 
horse, and dashing into the enemy's ranks was slain. Both 
armies understood the act : it depressed the spirits of the Latins 
as much as it raised those of the Romans. 

The skill of Manlius now finished the work of superstitious awe. 
He had armed his accensi, contrary to usual custom ; and as 
soon as his two front battalions were wearied, he brought them 
up in frpnt. The Latins, thinking they were triarii, brought 
up their own third battalions, who thus used up their weapons 
and their strength upon the Roman accensi. Then Manlius 
brought up his real triarii to gain an easy victory over the wearied 
enemy. They fled in irretrievable confusion. 

§ 9. If the greatness of a Consul's honours were proportioned 
to the importance of his acts, the triumph of T. Manlius Tor- 
quatus ought to have been second to none ; for not only Latium, 
but Campania, remained at the mercy of the conquerors. But 
the memory of his son was alive ; men were too much struck 
with horror at the remorseless father to give glory to the victo- 
rious Consul, and a gloomy silence attended his progress along 
the Forum to the Capitol. From the stern exercise of his autho- 
rity he derived his other surname of Imperiosus. 

§ 10. The war was kept up the next year by several Latin 
cities, which, however, were unable to keep an army in the field. 
Tibur, PramestS, and the rest were conquered by the Consuls 


Ti. iEmilius and Q. Publilius Philo ; but Pedum held out to the 
third year (338 B.C.), when this city also yielded, and the Latin 
war was ended. 

§ 11. The country that was left at the mercy of Rome by the 
issue of the Latin war comprehended Latium itself, the country 
of the Volscians and Auruncans from Anxur or Terracina to the 
mouth of the Liris, and the northern district of Campania nearly 
to the mouth of the Vulturnus. It was a rich domain, and at 
the close of the first year of the war the Senate, sure of their 
prize, proceeded to appropriate part of the lands of these coun- 
tries. The poorest Plebeians, lately relieved of the pressure of 
debt, now received portions not exceeding three jugera (nearly 2 
acres) apiece. The allotments were small, but with the help of 
pasturage on the public land, this was enough to enable indus- 
trious men to keep free from debt. 

§ 12. However, the smallness of these allotments seems to have 
again raised discontent ; and in the second year of the Latin war 
(339 B.C.) the Plebeian Consul, Q. Publilius Philo, being named 
Dictator by his Patrician colleague, proposed three laws still 
further abridging the privileges of the Patrician Lords. 

The first Publilian lav/ enacted that one of the Censors, as one 
of the Consuls, must be a Plebeian. The second gave fuller 
sanction to the principle already established, that the Resolutions 
of the Plebeian Assembly should have the force of law.* The 
third provided that all laws passed at the Comitia of the Cen- 
turies or of the Tribes should receive beforehand the sanction of 
the Curies ; so that this Patrician Assembly now lost all control 
over the Popular Assemblies. 

§ 13. At the close of the war, the Senate proceeded to make 
such a settlement of the conquered communities as might de- 
liver Rome from all future fears of insurrection. The principle 
was that which was steadily and insidiously pursued in all future 
dealings with conquered countries, namely, to divide the interests 
of the different communities by bestowing privileges oh some, 
and by reducing others to subjection. It should be added, how- 
ever, that hopes were held out to those who were most severely 
punished, that by obedience and good service they might here- 
after gain the privileges of the most highly favoured. 

§ 14. We must here explain what those privileges were. All 
Burgesses of Rome now enjoyed the same Rights. These Rights 
were Private and Public. The Private Rights of a Roman citizen 
were (1) the power of legal marriage with all families of citizens 
(Jus Connubii) ; (2) the power of making legal contracts of bargain 
and sale, so that he might hold land and houses by a good title 
* " Ut Plebiscita omnes Quirites tenerent" See Chapt. x, § 20. 


in any part of the Roman territory (jus Commercii) ; (3) the power 
of devising property by will, and of inheriting property, with 
other smaller privileges (jus Hereditatts, &c). The Public Eights 
were (1) the power of voting in the Comitia of the Centuries and 
of the Tribes (jus Suffragii) ; and (2) the power of being elected 
to all offices of State (jus Honommi). 

When foreign lands were incorporated with Rome, the free 
citizens residing in those lands became entitled to all these 
Rights. But it was common for Rome to enter into relations 
with foreign communities on such conditions that she granted 
them a portion of those Rights, and received for her own citizens 
corresponding Rights in those communities. Thus a citizen of 
Capua might possess the Private Rights of a Roman citizen at 
Rome, and reciprocally a Roman burgess might be able to exer- 
cise the same rights at Capua. It is obvious that these conces 
sions might be made in various degrees of completeness. All 
Private Rights might be granted, or only some ; or to the Private 
Rights might be added a power of obtaining even the Public 
Rights, that is, of becoming a burgess of Rome. 

§ 15. It is probable that by the Latin League, this equal rela- 
tion was established between Home on the one hand, and all the 
independent Latin communities on the other. Romans possessed 
the Private Rights of citizenship in all these communities, and 
Latins possessed the same Rights at Rome. It is probable also 
that the citizens of each party had some power of obtaining the 
Public Rights in the allied State. A Roman might become the 
burgess of one of the Latin communities, a Latin might become 
a burgess of Rome. 

§ 16. But now, at the end of the year 338 B.C., Latium and 
Campania lay at the feet of Rome, and no such equality was 
thought of. A complete division of interests was made, and all 
union between the cities was rendered difficult. Lanuvium, 
Tusculum, Momentum, and Velitrse were at once added to the 
Roman territory as two new Tribes (the Meecian and Scaptian), 
so that their citizens became citizens of Rome and voted in the 
Comitia. Tibur and Praeneste were deprived of a portion of their 
territory, which thus became part of the public domain of Rome ; 
otherwise they remained independent. * The other Latin Com- 
munities were prohibited from entering into any relations one 
with another. The citizen of one town could not enter into legal 
marriage with the family of another town, nor make a legal con- 
tract of bargain and sale with any but one of his own townsmen. 
This severe penal enactment shows that they were reduced into 
a state of absolute subjection, and the isolation which was its 
consequence effectually maintained that subjection. Many Latin 


Cities had been destroyed by the Gauls : others now began to 
dwindle away: so early began the chain of causes which has 
ended in the present desolation of the Campagna. In course of 
time the whole Latin territory was incorporated with the Roman 
Tribes, and Latin families furnished some of the most illus- 
trious generals and statesmen of Rome. 

§ 17. The Oscan communities between Latium and Campania, 
with the chief cities of Northern Campania, were admitted into 
advantageous alliance with Rome. Capua especially appears in 
later history on terms of positive equality. The chief citizens, 
whom Livy calls the Knights, were probably of Samnite origin, 
and had taken part with Rome in the late Latin war. It is 
likely that these men were now restored as a Patrician Order in 
Capua, and that the privileges of equal alliance referred to them 
alone. Probably, also, in other towns a Patriciate was formed, 
while the mass of the people were left in the former condition 
of the Plebeians at Rome. Thus the Patricians or governing 
body in each city would be anxious to maintain alliance with 
Rome, because on that depended the maintenance of their own 




S 1. Twelve years of peace: measures of precaution against Samnites : Treaty 
with Alexander of Molossus : Privernum enfranchised : Thirty-one Tribes : 
Colonies at Cales, Fregellae, Terracina. § 2. Dispute with Palaipolis, which 
calls in a Samnite garrison. §3. Publilius Philo besieges Palaepolis : first 
Proconsul : destruction of Palsepolis. § 4. Second Samnite War breaks out 
§ 5. Part taken in war by nations of Southern Italy. § 6. Leading men at 
Rome. § 7. War divided into three periods. § 8. First Period 
(326-322), in which Romans gain the upper hand. § 9. Second Period 
(b.c. 321-315): great defeat of Roman Army at Furculae Caudinae. § 10 
Pontius passes Romans under yoke, and releases them on conditions of peace. 
§ 11. Peace repudiated by Senate. § 12. Remarks on their conduct. § 13. 
Continued success of Samnites, till 315. § 14. Third Period (314-304) : 
precautionary measures : Capua called to account: Colonists sent to Fre- 
gellte, Casinum, Interamna, Suessa. § 15. War declared by Etruscans. 
§ 16. Great defeat of Samnites by Papirius. § 17. Of Etruscans by Fabius. 
§ 18. Samnites sue for peace (304 B.C.). § 19. Why Senate was ready to 
come to terms. — Thirty-three Tribes. 

§ 1. For the twelve years which followed the reduction of 
Latium the Romans remained at peace with the Samnites. But 

h 3 


several events showed that this interval of rest was but the 
preparation for a future and decisive struggle. 

In 332 B.C. Alexander of Epirus, uncle of Alexander the 
Great, landed in Southern Italy with an army, having been 
invited by the Tarentines to defend them against their bar- 
barous enemies the Lucanians. Alexander defeated these people 
near Paestmn ; and the Senate forthwith made an alliance with 
him, thinking that he might be of service to them in the im- 
pending war. But Alexander fell not long after in a second 
battle at Pandosia. 

A little after this, the Volscian city of Privernum revolted 
against Rome. The revolt was soon crushed : but the Pri- 
vernatians, contrary to custom, wexe treated with indulgent 
favour by the Senate. Their deputies, being asked by the 
Consul, " What was due to such conduct as theirs ?" boldly 
replied by another question : — "What is due to brave men who 
have fought for freedom?" "Well, but if we spare you," re- 
joined the Consul, "what are we to expect ?" " Peace," was the 
reply, "if you treat us well ; but if ill, a speedy return to war/' 
Then the Senate voted that the people of Privernum should be 
admitted to be Roman citizens ; and not long after, they were 
included in two new Oscan Tribes, which made the Tribes 
thirty-one in all.* This indulgence was calculated to make the 
Oscan nations satisfied with Roman sovereignty, and willing to 
take part with Rome rather than with the Samnites. 

But the determination of the Romans was most strongly 
shown by the Colonies which they planted upon the Samnite 
frontier. The Auruncan town of Gales rebelled in 335 B.C. ; and, 
being speedily reduced by Valerius Corvus, was occupied by 
2500 settlers, who became, as it were, the Patricians of the 
Colony, while the old population took the position of subject 
Plebeians. This settlement served as a fortress in the newly 
acquired district between Campania and Latium. In 328 B.C. 
the Yolscian town of JFabrateria, near Fregellse, implored the 
aid of Rome against the Samnites, who were again endeavouring 
to push down the Liris. The Senate promptly answered by 
warning the Samnites to abstain from further inroads, and by 
occupying Fregellee with a strong body of Colonists. This 
second Colony w r as destined to command the upper or inland 
road from Latium into Campania. In the year before, a third 
Colony had been planted in the strong city of Anxur or Terra- 
cina, which was intended to cover the lower, or coast road, into 
the same country. 

* The Ufentine and Falerine. 


A Colony, planted in Antium at the close of tlie Latin war, had 
a similar effect. 

§ 2. In the year 327 B.C. began the dispute which was the 
immediate cause of the second or great Samnite war. Par- 
thenope was an ancient Greek colony founded by the Chalcidians 
of Cumse on the northern part of the bay of Naples. In after 
years another city sprung up a little to the south, whence the 
original Parthenope was called Paleepolis or Old-town, w T hile the 
New Town took the name of Neapolis. The latter pres^ves its 
name in the modern Naples ; the former has so utterly dis- 
appeared that its site is a matter of guess. At the time just 
mentioned the Senate sent to Pakepolis to complain of outrages 
committed upon Roman subjects in Campania. But the Greek 
city, being closely allied with her sister Neapolis and the great 
Oscan town of Nola (which had almost become Greek), and 
seeing that she might count on the aid of the Samnites, refused 
to give any satisfaction for the alleged injuries. On this the 
Senate declared war, and ordered L. Publilius Philo, the Plebeian 
Consul, to besiege Palsepolis, which forthwith received a garrison 
consisting of 2000 Nolans and 4000 Samnites. 

§ 3, Publilius encamped between the two cities, the new and 
the old ; and at the close of his Consular year of office received 
the title of Pro-consul, in order to enable him to continue the 
war — the first example of a practice which afterwards became 
common. Soon after the Romans were admitted into the old 
town at one gate, while the Samnite garrison left it by the oppo- 
site side. From this time we hear no more of Palaepolis. The 
Neapolitans, foreseeing the ascendancy of Rome, entered into a 
treaty of peace with the Senate ; and Publilius returned home 
completely successful. 

§ 4. While these affairs were going on, war broke out with 
the Samnites. The Senate sent ambassadors to complain of the 
conduct of these people in encouraging Privernum to revolt, 
and in supporting Palsepolis against Rome. The Samnites de- 
nied both charges, and retorted upon Rome for daring to colo- 
nise Fregellse. " What need of further trifling ?" said they ; 
iC war is the only way to settle our disputes ; the plain of Cam- 
pania must be our battle-ground. There let us meet and decide 
which is to be mistress of Italy, Samnium or Rome." But the 
Romans, coldly replying that it was their custom to choose their 
own field of battle, contented themselves with declaring war ; 
and the colleague of Publilius was ordered to enter the Samnite 
frontiers. Thus in the year 326 B.C. was war again begun 
between Rome and Samnium. This time it lasted, not two 
years as before, but twenty-two. It was a desolating warfare, 


which brought both nations to the last stage of exhaustion. 
But Rome remained the conqueror. 

§ 5. War being declared, the Senate hastened to detach from 
the cause of the Samnites such of the Lucanian and Apulian 
tribes as would listen to their diplomacy. We find, indeed, that 
the Lucanians soon after took part with the Samnites, but their 
aid was of an uncertain and unstable character. Tarentum, the 
chief of the Greek cities in the South of Italy, took no direct 
part in^ the war, but regarded it with no common interest ; 
indeed, it was by the arts of the Tarentines that the Lucanians 
were detached from their alliance with Rome. 

§ 6. Such was the state of the neighbouring nations when war 
broke out. It will be useful here to notice the men whom the 
Romans expected to lead them to victory. 

Of T. Manlius Torquatus, the conqueror of the Latins, we 
hear not. Either he was dead, or the ruthless execution of his 
son prevented his being again elected Consul. But M. Valerius 
Corvus, the conqueror of the Samnites in the First War, was 
still in the vigour of life. He had been first elected Consul in 
the year 348, at the early age of twenty -three, now, therefore, 
he was little more than forty-four. Four times had he been 
Consul ; and as Dictator, in the year after his Samnite victory, 
he had quelled a dangerous insurrection without bloodshed. In 
the course of this war he was once more Dictator and twice 

But the general in whom the Senate seem to have placed 
most confidence was M. Papirius Cursor. Four times w r as he 
made Consul in this war, and once Dictator, and his services 
were usually called for in the greatest emergencies. He was a 
man of little education, of great bodily strength, and especially 
remarkable for his swiftness of foot (whence his name of Cursor) ; 
able to endure all extremes of hunger, cold, and fatigue ; and not 
without a rough sort of humour. A man of this kind was sure 
to be popular with the soldiers ; yet often he lost their good- 
will by his violent and overbearing conduct. 

But Q. Fabius Maximus was the most considerable man of the 
time. He was a patrician, but the warm friend of the plebeian 
P. Decius, the son of that Decius who devoted himself so nobly 
in the Latin War. Fabius more than once proved himself the 
better genius of Rome. 

With these three Patricians must be remembered the names 
of C. Marcius Rutilus and Q. Publilius Philo, Plebeians, who have 
already been mentioned more than once. 

To oppose these Roman chiefs the Samnites had, no doubt, 
bold and skilful leaders ; for during a great part of the war their 


arins were in the ascendant. But the only name we know is 
that of C. Pontius. 

§ 7. The war itself may be conveniently divided into three 
periods: the first, fromu32G to 322 B.C., when the Samnites 
were so far reduced as to sue for peace ; the Second from 321 
(when the Romans were defeated at the Caudine Forks) to 315 
(when the - Samnites gained another victory at Lautulse, and 
Capua threatened to revolt); the third from 314 (when the 
Roman fortune again began to prevail) to 304 (when the war 

§ 8. First Period (326—322). — The year after the fall of 
Palaepolis, the Senate boldly ordered the Consul D. Junius 
Brutus to march into the allied country of Apulia, in order to 
attack the Samnites from that quarter, while the other Consul 
entered Samnium from Campania. Brutus was refused a pas- 
sage through the Vestinian country, and spent the whole year 
in reducing these people to submission, so as to secure a passage 
into Apulia. - 

Meantime, the other Consul being sick, L. Papirius Cursor was 
named Dictator to act in his place, and he chose Q. Fabius as 
his Master of Horse. The Dictator found the Samnite army 
advanced to the edge of the Lower Apennines, which overhang 
the Latian Plain, somewhere in the neighbourhood of Sublaqueum 
(Subiaco), and there he fixed his camp. Being recalled to Rome 
to rectify some mistake in the auguries, he left the army in 
command of Fabius, strictly charging him not to venture on an 
action. But in a day or two, as he was presiding in the Senate, 
a message reached him to say that his Master of Horse had been 
so provoked by the hourly insults of the enemy, that he had 
attacked them and gained a signal victory. Papirius rushed out 
of the Senate-house, and went straight to the army, vowing that 
his rebellious officer should die the death of young Manlius, the 
son of Torquatus. The Dictator, as soon as he arrived, ordered 
the lictors to seize Fabius, who took refuge among the veterans ; 
and after a long struggle Fabius fled to Rome, and appeared 
before the Senate to tell his story, when Papirius himself entered 
the Senate-house with his lictors. A scene of great violence 
followed ; but at length the Dictator was obliged to grant a 
forced and ungracious pardon. On his return to the camp he 
found the army ripe for mutiny and unwilling to fight. Then 
even his stubborn will gave way : he found it necessary to curb 
his angry temper ; till, at length, having recovered the good- will 
of the soldiery, he again attacked the enemy, and again defeated 

So discouraged were the Samnites, that they sued for peace ; 


but only a year's truce was granted, at the end of which hostili- 
ties were resumed with the same fortune as before. After some 
losses the enemy prayed for peace more earnestly than before ; 
but the Senate refused to treat unless Brutulus Papius, whom 
they accounted the leader of the war-party, were first delivered 
up. This man nobly said that he would not stand in the way 
of his country's wishes, and sought a voluntary death. Then the 
Samnites sent ambassadors to Rome, bearing the body of Papius, 
to repeat their former prayer. But this unworthy treatment of 
a man whose only fault seems to have been that he loved his 
country too well, was of no avail. The conditions of peace 
offered by the Senate were so hard, that it was thought that a 
war ever so unsuccessful could bring about no worse results. It 
was determined to renew hostilities. 

§ 9. Second Period (321 — 315 B.C.). — As during the first five 
years of the war the Roman arms had prevailed, so during the 
next seven the Samnites were almost uniformly successful. This 
success was mainly due to C. Pontius, a man who had been 
educated in Greek learning and was worthy to be captain-general 
of the Samnite League. The very first year of his command 
was marked by one of the greatest disgraces w T hich the Roman 
armies ever suffered. This was the famous affair of the Caudine 
Forks (Furculae Caudinse). 

It appears that in the year 321 B.C. both the Consuls, T. 
Veturius and Sp. Posthumius, had been ordered to march into 
Campania, in order to attack Samnium from that country. 
When they reached Capua, they heard that Pontius with the 
whole Samnite army was besieging Luceria. Thinking that, 
unless they hastened by the shortest way into Apulia, the whole 
country might be lost, they marched straight northward into 
Samnium, taking the road which led by Calatia through the 
mountains to Beneventum. Soon after the road enters the 
mountains, the valley becomes very narrow, then opens out into 
a small plain, and again closes in. When the Roman armies, 
after traversing the plain, attempted to defile through the pass 
at the far end of it, they found that C. Pontius, with the best 
of his troops, had beset the road. The Consuls turned about, 
intending to go back into Campania and seek another way into 
Apulia, but they found that the enemy had in the meantime 
taken possession of the pass by which they had entered, so that 
they were hemmed in both in front and rear. Still the Romans 
made a desperate attempt to force their way out of this trap. 
Great numbers fell : one-half of their officers were killed or 
wounded ; and not till then did the Consuls offer to treat. 

§ 10. Fon this was so elated by his great success, that he knew 


not what would be the best use to make of his victory, and ■ 
asked counsel of his father. " One of two things,' 1 said the old * 
man ; " either put all to the sword, and deprive your enemies of 
a brave army, or let them go untouched, and make them your 
friends." But Pontius took a middle course. He proposed to 
let the army go free, on surrendering their arms and publicly 
acknowledging their defeat, if the chief officers would engage to 
procure a favourable peace. This was agreed to ; the treaty 
was signed by the Consuls and all the superior officers, and six 
hundred knights were handed over to Pontius as hostages till 
the treaty was ratified. Then the whole army, clad in their 
under garments only, having given up their armour and cloaks, 
was allowed to go through the Samnite lines, each man passing 
singly under the yoke. They returned in this sorry guise to 
Capua, where they were supplied with arms and outer gar- 
ments, that they might not return to Rome like prisoners or 
slaves. But so ashamed were they, that none would go into the 
City till nightfall, except the Consuls, who were obliged to enter 
publicly, and by daylight. All business was suspended ;* all 
ranks put on mourning ; all festivals, public and private, were 
adjourned ; and the Comitia for election of new magistrates 
were held by an Interrex, the Consuls being deemed unworthy 
to preside. The persons chosen to be the new Consuls were 
those held most likely to repair this great disaster, — L. Papirius 
Cursor the Patrician, and Q. Publilius Philo the Plebeian. 

§ 11. Pontius now demanded the fulfilment of the treaty, and 
the matter was laid before the Senate. The late Consuls, who 
had made the treaty, rose and declared that it ought not to be 
observed ; that they and all who had signed that shameful treaty 
ought to be given up to the enemy. Two Tribunes of the Plebs 
opposed this motion, but they were not heard. Consuls, Le- 
gionary Tribunes, Qusestors, and all others who had signed, were 
given to the fecial or herald ; and he delivered them in chains 
to the Samnites. As soon as this was done, Postumius, the 
late Consul, struck the Roman fecial with his knee, saying : " I 
am now a Samnite subject, and thus do I insult the sacred 
officer of Rome. The Romans can now make rightful war 
against the Samnites." But Pontius cut short this paltry quib- 
bling by declaring that he would not receive the prisoners at 
all. " Rome," said he, " made a treaty with me ; I will not 
excuse her performance of her duty because she gives up the 
persons of a few officers. If she will not have the treaty, let her 
place her army as it was in the Pass of Caudine Forks, and then 
I will see what may be done." The Roman prisoners returned 
* Justitium indicium est. 


to Rome ; the six hundred hostages were left to the mercy of 
the Samnites. 

§ 12. In this matter the Roman Senate has been much blamed 
for treachery and breach of faith. But, to justify such censure, 
we must be able to answer these questions : — Had the Consuls 
power to make a treaty binding on the whole people ? Or if they 
had not, did they send to Rome to obtain the sanction of the 
Senate and People? If these questions are answered, one or 
both of them, in the affirmative, then doubtless the Senate were 
most guilty. But if the Consuls had no such power, and if the 
authorities at home had not been consulted, then all that can be 
said is that C. Pontius ought not to have dismissed the army till 
the treaty had been duly ratified : for Rome was so near that an 
answer could soon have been brought back. At all events the 
conduct of Postumius, in pretending to be a Samnite when he 
insulted the Roman fecial, is, to our notions, contemptible, if not 
too ludicrous even to be contemptible. 

§ 13. So the war was renewed, and Papirius Cursor, with his 
plebeian colleague, took the field. But, though he was re-elected 
Consul for the next year, fortune continued to favour the Sam- 
nites. In the eleventh year of the war their chiefs took advan- 
tage of the absence of the Consuls to descend into Campania ; 
and Fabius, appointed Dictator, had only just time to occupy 
the pass of Lautuke, between Anxur and Fundi. But Fabius, 
brave and skilful as he was, could not hold his post with a raw 
army, and was defeated with great loss. The loss of Lautulse 
opened Latium to the Samnite army ; the Auruncans rose 
against Rome, and Campania threatened to revolt. The con- 
dition of the City seemed desperate. But old Rome never shone 
so bright as when her light seemed quite put out. Fabius, with 
the relics of his army, joined one of the Consuls, who returned 
home in haste, when the news of the battle of Lautulse reached 
him. They fell upon the Samnites, and defeated them com- 

From this time the star of the Samnites began to wane. For 
the remaining ten years of the war the Roman arms uniformly 
prevailed ; and with these begins our third and last period. 

§ 14. Third Period (314—304 B.C.).— The defeat of the Sam- 
nites just mentioned was so complete, that they could not meet 
the Romans in the field. The wretched Auruncans were 
betrayed to their old masters, and (to use the words of Livy) 
were annihilated. Msenius was named Dictator to inquire into 
Campanian disaffection ; and his presence at Capua created so 
much terror, that the two Calavii, the leaders of the confederacy, 
were delivered up to him, and a general amnesty was granted. 


The Senate then busied themselves ' with so fortifying the 
upper road that they might never again lose it. They re-esta- 
blished the Colony of Fregellae, and sent colonists to Casinum, 
Interamna, and Suessa, so that these places, with Cales, formed 
a line of fortresses along the Samnite frontier. They also took 
the large town of Nola in Southern Campania ; and sent a strong 
body of colonists to the distant town of Luceria, to prevent its 
being again surprised by the enemy. Thus were the Samnites 
held in check on every side. 

§ 15. The war would probably have come to a quick con- 
clusion had it not been that the Etruscans declared war against 
Rome. This seems to have been in 311 B.C. • 

§ 16. For the year 309 B.C., it is stated in the Fasti that no 
Consuls were elected, Papirius, with dictatorial power, led his 
legions into Samnium ; while Fabius continued as Pro-consul 
in Etruria. The Samnites had made great exertions to im- 
prove their success, and the splendid equipment of their army 
is described by Livy. One division wore striped tunics with 
gilded shields; the other was clad in white, with shields of silver. 
But all was of no avail; the long- tried fortune of Papirius again 
prevailed, and ;the Samnites were once more utterly defeated. 
This was the last battle they fought in this war. 

§ 17. Fabius, with the bold decision which marks the Roman 
leaders of this time, determined to make an inroad into Etruria, 
and attack the Vulsinians, the authors of the war, at home. To 
reach the Vulsinian territory he must traverse the Ciminian 
hills. Since Lower Etruria had been conquered, these hills had 
been left as a frontier, not to be occupied by either party. They 
were overgrown with wood, and no Roman foot (it is said) had 
traversed them for many years. Fabius sent forward his brother 
Marcus, who had been brought up at Caere and spoke Etruscan 
like a native, to examine the country beyond the forest ; and 
sent word to the Senate of his intention, that they might provide 
means to defend the City, in case the Etruscans ventured to 
attack it in his absence. The Senate was alarmed by his bold- 
ness, and sent off ambassadors, attended by two Tribunes, with 
positive orders to stop his march. But Fabius was already in 
Etruria.^ He ravaged the country far and wide ; and the enemy 
returned in haste to defend their own homes. He encountered 
them near Perusia, and, after a bloody battle, defeated them 
utterly. The result was that the cities whom the Vulsinians 
had drawn into the war, made a peace for thirty years. 

§ 18. The Samnites were now quite worn out. The war had 
lasted more than twenty years. The Romans every year invaded 
their country ; and at length, upon the fall of Bovianum, the 



Book III. 

chief town of the Pentrians, they sued for peace. It was granted, 
but on hard terms. They lost all their territory on the sea- 
coast : they gave up all foreign alliances and conquests, and 
acknowledged the supremacy of Rome. 

§ 19. The Senate were more ready to come to terms, because 
some of her other neighbours threatened to be troublesome. 
Even the Hernicans, the old and faithful allies of Rome, had risen 
against her just before the close of the war ; but they were 
reduced in a single campaign, and their towns treated as those of 
the Latins had been before. Anagnia, their chief city, became 
a Roman municipal town. Part of the Volscian lands also were 
occupied by the colonies of Interamna and Casinum (as above 
noted), and more recently by Sora. At the close of the war, the 
remnant of the iEquians also ventured to provoke the wrath of 
Rome. They also were soon subdued, and two Colonies were 
planted among their mountains— at Alba on the Fucine Lake, 
and at C&rseoli ; and by the next Censors the iEquian territory 
on the Anio was formed into two new Tribes (the Aniene and 
Terentine), so that now the number amounted to Thirty-three 
(299 b.c). This near approach of Roman settlers alarmed the 
Sabellian Tribes on the high Apennines, and the Marsians 
declared war. They also were defeated ; upon which the Senate 
at once offered to enter into a league with them on equal terms : 
and the Marsians long remained the faithful allies of Rome. 
The Marrucinians, Pelignians, Frentanians, and Vestinians, also 
joined the Roman league. 

y.-yyy ', i\ ^y : .y% 

/y. yy,» v .3^m^\S^- 

-yyMy^--y^y yyy^^M:s 

£". V,- -•■£ S^'l^B^i^yjJr^- i?*^?/^ 

Ifcnevenium in Samnium. 


■ ■■miiiimiiiiiiiiiiJiiMiiiBiMiiifliiiiiiiilflfl 



Tomb of Scipio Barbatus. 


THIRD SAMNITE WAR. (298 290 B.C.) 

§ 1. Hollowness of the late Peace. § 2. Rome engaged in war with Etrus- 
cans, Umbrians, and Gauls. § 3. Samnites choose this crisis for declaring 
war. § 4. Samnium desolated by Fabius and Decius, § 5. Great con- 
federacy organised by Gellius Egnatius, the Samnite. § 6. Fabius and 
Decius again elected Consuls : great efforts for Campaign. § 7, Decisive 
battle of Sentinum : self-sacrifice of second Decius. § 8. Victory in 
Samnium by Papirius and Carvilius. § 9. C. Pontius again appears, and 
is taken prisoner by Fabius. § 10. Great Colony planted at Venusia, §11. 
Submission of Samnites. § 12. Shameful death of C. Pontius. 

§ 1. The peace which concluded the Second Samnite War was 
made in 304 B.C., and in less than six years from that time the 
Third Samnite War began. This peace indeed was no peace (in 
our sense of the word), but a mere armistice on the part of the 
Samnites, who no doubt were resolved to break it as soon as 
they felt themselves strong enough to renew hostilities. 

Their great want in the late war had been allies. They had 
fought single-handed against Rome, which was supported by 
Latins, Campanians, and Apulians. The greater part of the 
Sabellian tribes had stood aloof in cold neutrality, or had ren- 
dered a very doubtful. succour. But an opportunity now offered 
which seemed to present occasion for forming a great confedera- 
tion of Central Italy against Rome. 

§ 2. After the conclusion of the peace before-named, Rome 
again appears in hostility with many of the Etruscan cities, not- 


withstanding the thirty years' truce which had been lately made. 
At Arretium (Arezzo) we find the noble house of the Cilnii, 
from whom C. Cilnius Maecenas, the minister of Augustus, 
claimed descent, inviting the Romans to restore them to the 
city from which they had been banished. Perusia also and other 
cities appear in arms. Even beyond Etruria, in Umbria, we 
tind the Romans at war with the people of Nequinum, a city 
strongly situated on the Nar (Nera). After an obstinate siege 
they took the place, and planted a Colony there, under the name 
of Narnia (Narni), to command the point at which the frontiers 
of Etruria, Umbria, and the Sabines meet. The Umbrians were 
so alarmed by this aggressive movement, that they called to 
their aid the Senonian Gauls, the same who had burnt Rome, 
and who had made a permanent settlement on the Umbrian 
coast-land, between the Utis and the iEsis. 

§ 3, In the year 298 B.C. the Consuls were preparing to resist an 
attack from the Umbrians and Gauls ; and this was the favour- 
able moment chosen by the Samnites for renewing the war. 

Their first step was to overpower the Roman party in Lucania 
and Apulia ; the colony of Luceria alone' held out. Then they 
attempted to draw over , the Marsians to their league ; but this 
people turned a deaf ear to the voice of the tempter. The Sa- 
bines, however, of the upper country gave a favourable answer. 

With this formidable confederacy on the one hand, and the 
fear of the Etrurians, Umbrians, and Senonian Gauls on the 
other, the position of Rome appeared critipal. But for some 
reason the fickle Gauls failed in their engagement, the Umbrians 
did not move, and Rome was left to deal with the Samnite 
league on the south, and the Etruscan cities on the north. 

§ 4. The patrician Consul of the year, ,L.„ Cornelius Scipio 
Barbatus, the first of a great name,* invaded Etruria, while 
his colleague, Cn. Fulvius, entered the country of the Pentrian 
Samnites. Fulvius gained not that advantage which the Roman 
people expected over an enemy whom they considered as already 
conquered. Accordingly, the general wish was to elect .Q. Fabius 
Maximus; the hero of the late war, Consul for the next year. 
Fabius was now an elderly man, and this would be his fourth 
Consulship. He was fain to decline the task, but at length gave 
way on condition that his plebeian colleague should be P. Decius 
Mus, son of him who devoted himself in the great Latin -war; 
and he also had been Consul twice before. They had been col- v 

* This was the Scipio whose sarcophagus (figured at the head of this 
Chapter) is preserved in-the Vatican. The inscription on it records that he 
" conquered the Lucanians, &c, and led away hostages/' When this was 
done is not recorded in Livy. 


leagues in the Consulship ten years before (308 B.C.) and as joint 
Censors in 304, had cordially united in measures calculated to 
perserve harmony in the state, as we shall show in the next 
chapter. They continued firm friends till the death of Decius, 
and present a most honourable example of a Patrician and 
Plebeian combined for the common good. Both Consuls invaded 
Samnium ; Fabius the Pentrian, Decius the Caudine valleys. 
They overran every part, burning and destroying. 

§ 5. It appeared as if this brave people were again at the feet 
of Eome ; and L. Voluinnius, the plebeian Consul of the next 
year (296 B.C.), whilst his colleague App. Claudius was sent into 
Etruria, entered Samnium as if to take possession. But the 
Samnites rose from under their calamities with an elasticity as 
great as Eome herself displayed. Probably in the terrible assault 
of the last year great part of their flocks and herds, their chief 
wealth, had been secured in mountain fastnesses, and therefore 
they suffered not so much as an agricultural people might have 
done. But the chief merit of their renewed vigour must be attri- 
buted to a brave chief, named Gellius Egnatius, who shines forth 
for a moment, like Pontius in the former war, through the uncerr 
tain mist of Samnite history, as it is transmitted to us by Boman 
annalists. The plan for an Italian confederation, which had 
been faintly attempted at the beginning of the war, this man 
attempted to realise by a step as bold as ever was taken in a 
desperate emergency. 

With a chosen body of Samnites he made a rapid march into 
the valley of the Tiber, between Qmbria and Etruria, hoping that 
his presence might rouse to action the slumbering energies of 
those countries, leaving, however, a sufficient force to keep 
Volumnius employed in Samnium. App. Claudius, a remarkable 
man, of whose acts in peace we shall have to speak in the next 
chapter, was more skilled in the contests of the Senate than of 
the field, and he was alarmed to hear that Gellius was likely to 
rouse both Umbrians and Gauls to join the Etruscans. He shut 
himself up in an intrenched camp, and sent orders to his col- 
league to join him. But no attack was made that year. 

§ 6. In this state of alarm the people were convened to elect 
Consuls for the ensuing year (295 B.C.). They at once chose old 
Fabius for the fifth time, and would have continued Volumnius 
in office. But Fabius again refused to be elected unless he was 
united to his old and tried colleague, P. Decius ; and this noble 
Plebeian was elected for the fourth time Consul. 

It was settled that both the Consuls, with four legions, were 
to go forward into Umbria, so as to separate the Samnites, with 
their Umbrian and Gallic allies, from Etruria. fccipio Barbatus 


was sent forward with a single legion to watch the movements 
of the enemy. Volumnius, as Proconsul, was sent into Sam- 
nium. Fulvius was to be stationed near Falerii with a reserve 
force to overawe Etruria ; while a fourth army, under Postumius, 
was to cover Rome itself. This was the largest number of 
troops that the Republic had ever yet called into the field, 
With her allies she could not have had less than 100,000 men 
under arms. 

§ 7. When the Consuls took the field, they were greeted with 
the unwelcome news that Scipio had been overpowered by the 
Gauls ; and that these barbarians, with some of the Etruscans, 
had joined the brave Gellius Egnatius in Umbria. They imme- 
diately pushed across the Apennines, and (probably to supply 
Scipio's place) recalled Volumnius from Samnium. At the same 
time they sent orders to Fulvius to advance into Etruria, hoping 
by this diversion to draw off the Etruscans, and thus weaken 
the confederate army. The scheme was successful ; and when 
the Roman army met the confederates at Sentinum in Umbria, 
the Etruscans had already returned home. Here, as on all occa- 
sions, the conduct of that people was weak and selfish. No 
brave man could trust his fortunes in their hands. 

The Roman army of Umbria, legionaries and allies, amounted 
to not less than 60,000 men. The enemy, even without the 
Etruscans, were far more numerous. Fabius commanded the 
right wing, which was opposed to Gellius with his Samnites, 
the Umbrians, and probably some other Italian tribes ; Decius 
on the left faced an immense host of Gauls. Just before the 
battle began, a hind and a wolf (so runs the story) ran down 
between the armies ; the hind turned in among the Gauls, and 
was slain by their javelins ; the wolf sought refuge in the Roman 
ranks, and no man touched the sacred beast of Romulus. This 
was hailed as an omen of good, and the battle began. Fabius, 
after an obstinate struggle, brought up his reserve, and the Sam- 
nites gave way. But he could not pursue them ; for Decius on 
his side had been less successful. The Gauls had brought their 
war-chariots into action, and the Romans were terror-struck by 
these strange engines of destruction. A panic seized the cavalry, 
and the legions wavered ; when Decius resolved to follow the 
example of his father, and devote himself for his country. He 
went through the same solemn forms ; his heroic death lent 
new courage to his men, and they returned to the charge under 
the command of M. Livius, the Pontifex Maximus. Still the 
Gauls kept their ground unflinching, till Fabius, having driven 
the Samnites and their confederates from the field, wheeled 
round, and assailed the Gauls on their left flank, while he do- 


tached the Campanian cavalry to take them in rear. Thus sur- 
rounded, they were soon completely broken, and a general 
pursuit took place. Then the Samnites were attacked anew, and 
the brave Gellius Egnatius fell fighting. But a remnant of his 
hardy mountaineers retreated in good order, and regained their 
own country. The slaughter on both sides was prodigious. 

Such was the battle of Sentinum, which determined the fate 
of Samnium and of Italy. The Triumph of Fabius, who returned 
not home till he had gained another victory over the Etruscans 
at Perusia, was well deserved. But it was marred by the absence 
of his brave colleague ; and none felt this more than Fabius 
himself. He pronounced an oration over the grave of his thrice- 
proved friend, lamenting that he had borne all the danger, but 
had not lived to share the glory. 

§ 8. Notwithstanding this complete rout of the confederates, 
the Samnites maintained the contest for five years more. In 293 
B.C. they made a desperate effort ; certain picked battalions were 
splendidly armed, as in the last war, and bound themselves by 
horrid oaths to die or conquer. The Consuls of the year were 
L. Papirius, son of Papirius Cursor, and Sp. Carvilius ; and they 
both invaded Samnium, as Fabius and Decius had done four 
years before. The Samnites resolved to try the fortune of 
another battle with their new levies, and their armies met 
Papirius — we know not where. When the omens were taken 
from the feeding of the sacred fowls (pulli), their keeper (the 
pullarius) reported that "they fed well, — so greedily, indeed, that 
some of the corn fell over." The omen was good. But just as 
the battle was beginning, the nephew of the Consul Papirius came 
to him in great fear: "for," said he, "the pullarius has lied ; 
the fowls will not eat at all." " Be it so/ - * replied the Consul, 
" the omens were reported to me as good, and I shall begin the 
battle. If the report was false, let the false speaker look to it ;" 
and he ordered the pullarius to be set in the front rank. At the 
first onset the wretch was killed ; by his death the anger of the 
gods was believed to be averted, and the Bomans advanced to 
battle with fresh confidence. In the heat of battle Papirius, 
confident of victory, shouted : " Jupiter, grant me victory, and 
I will give thee a cup of wine and honey before I touch a cup 
myself." The soldiers recognised the rough humour of old 
Papirius Cursor, and shared the generals confidence. The 
enemy were utterly defeated, and the rest of the year was spent 
in ravaging the country. The booty taken was immense ; and 
Carvilius signalised his triumph by erecting a colossal statue of 
Jupiter on the Capitol, so huge that it could be seen from the 
Alban Hill, twelve miles off. 


§ 9. These vigorous measures were not continued the next 
year, when Q. Fabius Gurges, son of old Fabius, was sent alone 
into Samnium, He had the name but not the nature of his 
father, and the Samnites- were once more commanded by their 
greatest man, 0. Pontius, of whom we hear nothing from the 
year of the Furculae Caudinse to the present time. He resumed 
his old tactics, and again drew the Romans into a defile, from 
which, however, he allowed them to escape, but not without 
heavy loss. The news of this unexpected reverse raised a 
storm of indignation at Rome, and the Consul was only saved 
from disgrace by his father, who volunteered to join the army 
as his son's legatus or lieutenant. His presence restored spirit 
to the army. Another battle was fought ; many thousand Sam- 
nites fell, and C. Pontius was taken prisoner. The triumphal 
procession was remarkable, because old Fabius and his son both 
appeared in the car of victory, and ascended together to the 

§ 10. The Senate had some fear lest Tarentum and the Southern 
tribes might even yet be excited to join the Samnites ; and to curb 
them, they determined to colonise Venusia, in Southern Apulia. 
It is said that 20,000 Romans and Latins settled in the future 
birthplace of Horace, and we shall find Venusia hereafter appear- 
ing as one of the most faithful of the Colonies. 

§ 11. Two years after, in the year 290 B.C., the Samnites finally 
laid down their arms, and submitted to Roman supremacy. One 
short struggle more followed ten years after, when the arrival of 
Pyrrhus gave false hopes to the people of Southern Italy. After 
his departure the Samnites, with the rest of the Italians, bowed 
without further dispute to the sovereignty of Rome. 

§ 12. The close of this war was marked by one disgraceful act, 
the death of C. Pontius. He followed the triumphal procession 
of Fabius Gurges, and was beheaded in the prison under the 
Capitol. We blush for Rome while we hear of such treatment of 
a noble and generous enemy. We grieve that the last we hear of 
old Fabius is that he should have been associated in a triumph 
by which his laurels were so grievously sullied. 

Appian Way. 



§ I. Internal changes during Samnite Wars: remnants of jealousy between 
two Orders : Pudicitia Plebeia. § 2. Patrician Clubs put down by C. 
Maenius. § 3. Ogulnian Law for admitting Plebeians to Pontificate and 
Augurate. § 4. Plebeians, as a class, no longer poor. § 5. Increasing 
number of Slaves and Freedmen. § 6. Political condition of Freedmen. 
§ 7. Appius Claudius Caecus : his scheme of uniting Patricians and Freed- 
men against Plebeians. § 8. Choice of Senate by Appius as Censor : his 
colleague resigns, but he remains sole Censor. § 9. He enrols Freedmen 
in all Tribes. § 10. His agent, Cn. Flavius the notary : publishes a Calendar. 
§ 11, Elected Curule yEdile. § 12. Appius retains his Censorship for four 
years. § 13. His public works: Appian Road, Appian Aqueduct. § 14. 
Restoration of old rule with respect to Freedmen by Fabius and Decius : 
peaceable end of the question. 

§ 1. In a period of continued war, home affairs commonly present 
a monotonous aspect. It is after a war that civil commotions 
usually arise and political innovations take place. There were, 
however, some changes introduced during the Samnite wars that 
call for special notice. 

As all political inequality between Patricians and Plebeians 
had been removed, so all social distinctions were fast disappear- 

ROME. i 


ing. Yet jealousy still lingered in many minds. A sign of this 
appears in the story preserved of the wife of Volumnius, the 
plebeian colleague of Appius Claudius in 296 B.C. She was a 
Patrician of the Virginian Gens, but the patrician matrons would 
not allow her to join in the worship of the Pudicitia Patricia, 
alleging that by marriage with a Plebeian she had forfeited her 
rights. Upon this she consecrated a chapel to Pudicitia Plebeia. 
But petty jealousies of this kind did not find place among the 
better sort of either order. The example of Fabius and Decius 
shows that there were noble-minded men in each who could join 
heart and hand in the service of the state. 

§ 2. But there were many of the young Patricians who could 
not brook to part even with their political supremacy. Clubs 
(coitiones) were formed for the purpose of promoting the elec- 
tion of their own order at the Comitia, and debarring the Ple- 
beians from the rights accorded to them by the Licinian law. C. 
Mxenius, a Plebeian, who had been appointed Dictator to inquire 
into the threatened revolt of Capua (314 B.C.), after executing 
his duty abroad, went on summarily to break up these political 
clubs as contrary to public good. For this he was impeached 
before the Senate, but the complaint was dismissed, and the 
Clubs are little heard of afterwards. 

§ 3. The only exclusive privilege which was still maintained by 
the Patricians was, that they alone were eligible to the sacred 
offices of the Pontificate and Augurate. There were still only 
four Pontifices, beside the Pontifex Maximus, and four Augurs, 
all Patricians, according to the original institutions* ascribed to 
Numa. But this privilege was little worth preserving, when it 
had been conceded that Plebeians could hold curule offices, enter 
the Capitoline Temple in triumphal procession, and take the 
auspices at the meeting of the Centuriate Assembly. Accord- 
ingly, in the year 300 B.C., a law was proposed by two Tribunes, 
both bearing the name of Ogulnius, for removing this last symbol 
of exclusive privilege. It was proposed that henceforth there 
should be eight Pontifices, four from' each order, besides the 
Chief Pontiff, who might be either patrician or plebeian, for we 
find the office held by Ti. Coruncanius, a distinguished Plebeian, 
not many years later. The number of Augurs was also to be in- 
creased to nine, four from each order, the ninth probably being 
President of the College, as was the Chief Pontiff of the Pontifical 
College. Vacancies were to be filled up, as heretofore, by the 
surviving members of the College, a practice which in Koman 
language was called Cooptatio. Decius spoke warmly in favour 
of the law, and it was carried by general consent. 

S 4. We have now ceased to hear the epithet poor applied to 


the Plebeians as a class. There were still, no doubt, poor Ple- 
beians, as there were poor Patricians ; but the law which de- 
livered debtors into bondage was no more, and the late divisions 
of Public Land to those who had been sent out to settle in the 
colonies lately planted in the Volscian, iEquian, and other dis- 
tricts, must have removed poverty from a large number of 
families. The colonial system of Rome had likewise diminished 
the number of the poor Plebeians ; nor was anything now re- 
maining to affix poverty to them as a class. 

§ 5. But while this complete fusion of the Orders was peace- 
ably brought about, a new element of discord was appearing in 
the state. The poor of the plebeian order had been relieved by 
colonisation. But another class of poor was rapidly arising with 
the increase of the city in population and wealth. For a long 
period of Rome's earlier age, Slaves seem not to have been nume- 
rous. Agricultural labour was mostly done by the Plebeians 
themselves, either as the owners of small estates or as free 
labourers. The mechanical works of artisans and the business 
of trade were mostly carried on by the Clients under the protec- 
tion and for the benefit of their Patrons. But, no doubt, when 
Rome became a powerful monarchy under the later kings, she 
followed the example of all ancient states, and made Slaves of a 
large number of those whom she conquered. And the same 
process must have been repeated with accelerated rapidity during 
the progress which the arms of the Republic had made since the 
union of Patricians and Plebeians. When a large number of 
Slaves were set free at once, as was sometimes the case on the 
death of. their master, a number of indigent persons must have 
been left to their own resources : and thus it was that the new 
race of poor citizens arose, of whom we shall hear so much in the 
later period of our history under the name of the Populace of 
Rome, the factio forensis of the Roman writers. 

§ 6. We have called these Freedmen citizens. They were so ; 
but their citizenship was limited by this particular stigma, that 
they could only belong to one of the four City Tribes. Therefore, 
even if they formed a majority in these four Tribes, they never 
could exercise much weight in the Comitia Tributa. For, since 
there were at present twenty-seven Rustic Tribes, the votes of 
the full Burgesses stood to those of the Freedmen in the pro- 
portion of nearly seven to one. But it was obvious that if 
these Freedmen were thrown into the Rustic Tribes, their single 
votes would gain great weight, and give much political power to 
any one who could command these votes. 

§ 7. It is not an unusual thing to find persons of high patri- 
cian blood associating themselves politically with the lowest 

i 2 


orders rather than with the class immediately below them. 
Such a combination was easy at Borne, because the elevation of 
the Plebeian order still rankled in the minds of many Patricians ; 
and it might have been expected that there would not be wanting 
unscrupulous men of this class who would avail themselves of 
any means to recover their exclusive privileges. Such a man 
was Appius Claudius, afterwards named Csecus or the Blind. He 
was descended from that proud Sabine family which in the 
earlier times of the Republic had for three generations led the 
high Patrician party in their opposition to the claims of the 
Plebeians. He was, indeed, devoid of military talent among a 
people where every man was more or less a soldier, and where 
every magistrate was expected to be a general. But his abilities 
as a statesman were great. He is the first man of whom we 
hear as rising to high honours with this recommendation only 
to favour : his temper was determined, and his will inflexible. 
He it was who first conceived the plan of creating a new party 
by means of the Freedmen, so as to neutralise the equality lately 
won by the Plebeians. 

§ 8. In 312 B.C., three years after the disastrous defeat sus- 
tained by Fabius at Lautulse, Appius was chosen Censor, together 
with the Plebeian C. Plautius. He was not Consul till five years 
later, a reversal of the usual order of 9ffice, which may be attri- 
buted to his want of military skill. One of the first duties of 
the Censor was to make up the list of the Senate. The common 
practice was to leave all the old members on the list, unless any 
man had been guilty of some dishonourable act, and to fill up 
the vacancies by a regular rule, of which we shall speak here- 
after. But Appius disdained all precedent, and called up into 
the Senate a number of persons devoted to himself, who had no 
claim to such a dignity. No doubt the chief slight was shown 
to the Plebeians, for L. Junius Bubulcus, who in the next year 
was Plebeian Consul for the third time, treated the list made out 
by Appius as null, and the Plebeian Censor, C. Plautius, resigned 
his office, in order that Appius also might resign ; for it was the 
custom, when by any cause a Censor was deprived of his col- 
league, that he should lay down his office at once. But here 
again Appius defied precedent, and remained sole Censor. 

§ 9. He was now quite unfettered, and undertook the greai 
alteration to which we have before alluded. In revising the 
Census-register, or list of all who belonged to the Tribes, he 
allowed the Freedmen to be registered in the list of any Tribe 
they pleased, country as well as city. By this means, as we have 
said, the Freedmen's votes became available in every Tribe, in- 
stead of being confined to four. Moreover the Freedmen, being 


resident in Rome, were always present at the assemblies, whereas 
the country voters attended much less regularly, — a fact which 
*gave to the Freedmen a power beyond their numerical propor- 
tion. It is not too much to assume that in this measure Appius 
had the interest of the Patrician party at heart rather than that 
of the Freedmen and Populace, whom he admitted to equality 
with the rest of the Burgesses. 

§ 10. The agent whom he employed in dealing with the popu- 
lace was one Cn. Flavius, the son of a freedman, who followed 
the calling of a public scrivener or notary (scriba), a class which 
in ancient times, when printing was unknown, was numerous 
and important. This man's name is best known in connexion 
with the publication of the forms and times to be observed in 
legal proceedings. Up to that time the Patricians had kept all 
the secrets of law in their own hands ; they alone knew which 
were the days when courts could be held and when they could 
not ;* they alone were in possession of those technical formula- 
ries according to which all actions must proceed. But Flavius, 
by the help of his patron Appius, got possession of these secrets, 
and drew up a regular Calendar, in which the Dies Fasti and 
Nefasti were marked ; and this he set up in the Forum, so that 
all might see it : he also published an authentic list of the for- 
mularies proper to be employed in the several kinds of action ; 
and thus, as Cicero says, "he picked out the crows' eyes." 

§ 11. Soon after the admission of the Freedmen to the full 
citizenship, Flavius became a candidate for the Curule JEdile- 
ship. The Tribune presiding at the election said he could not 
take votes for a person who was engaged in trade ; upon which 
Flavius stepped forward and laid down his tablets and stile, the 
badges of his occupation, declaring that he would be a scrivener 
no longer. Then he was elected, to the great indignation of the 
old citizens, who saw two of their own candidates, men of con- 
sular rank, rejected in favour of this Freedman's son. 

§ 12. We have seen that Appius remained sole Censor, and 
when he had held his office for eighteen months it was expected 
that he would lay it down, as ordered by the iEmilian law. But 
he had no such intention. He had begun some great national 
works, and determined to hold his office for the whole Lustrum, 
that is, for three and a half years longer. The works we speak 

* Originally the court-days had been on the Nundina?, or one day in every 
week when the markets were held. But they were now held irregularly cn 
the Dies Fasti, that is, on all days which were not marked as Nefasti or Illicit 
in the calendar of th'e Pontiffs, as Ovid says : — 

Ille Nefastus erit, per quoin tria verba silentur; 
Fastus erit, per quern lege licebit agi. 


of became and still remain famous as the Appian road and the 
Appian aqueduct. 

: § 13. The Appian Road is well known, even to those who have 
not visited Rome, by the amusing description which Horace has 
given of. his journey along it. It led from Rome to Capua, pass- 
ing through the Pontine marshes to Terracina, then skirted the 
seaward side of the Auruncan hills, so as to avoid the pass of 
Lautula3, and went on by way of Fundi, Formise, and Sinuessa to 
Capua. There had been a road this way before, which Appius 
now improved and made fit for military purposes : its length was 
about 120 miles. Long afterwards it was continued through 
Beneventum and the Samnite Apennines to Brundusium. The 
Latin road, as the upper road to Capua was now called, left 
Rome by the same gate, the Porta Capena. 

The Appian Aqueduct (aqua Appia) was the first of these 
great works by which Rome was so abundantly supplied with ' 
water. But it did not resemble the Roman aqueducts of later 
times — those long lines of arches with which every one is fami- 
liar. In those days enemies often penetrated even to the walls 
of Rome, and might easily have broken off a raised aqueduct. 
It passed under ground till it had entered the city, when it rose 
on a few arches nea^ the Porta Capena, then passed down into 
the lower parts of the city next the river, where spring-water 
there was none, and where dwelt those poorer classes whose 
favour Appius had endeavoured to gain. But whether or not 
he had a political end in view, every one will agree with the 
remark, that one must " feel unmixed pleasure in observing that 
the first Roman aqueduct was constructed for the benefit of 
the poor, and of those who most needed it." 

§ 14. During the whole of Appius' arbitrary Censorship the 
Senate and the old citizens refrained from offering any direct 
opposition to his acts. But when the next Censors (of the year 
307 B.C.) left his work untouched, the Senate resolved that new 
Censors should be chosen two and a half years before the proper 
time, and the choice of the people fell on Rome's two worthiest 
sons, Q. Fabius Maximus and P. Decius Mus. These two great 
men applied a remedy simple but effectual. They did not, as 
the more violent might have wished, disenfranchise the new 
citizens, but merely removed their names from the country 
Tribes and restored them to the four city Tribes, to which they 
had before belonged, so that they could only carry four Tribes, 
whereas there were now twenty-nine in the hands of the old 
citizens. This measure was executed in the year ,304 B.C. Fabius 
and Decius saved the state as much by their firmness and mode- 
ration now as they did afterwards by the glorious victory of Sen- 

The Island of the Tiber. 


PYRRHUS. (289—282 B.C.) 

§ 1. M' Curius Dentatus: conquest of Upper Sabines. § 2. Agrarian Law of 
Curius: Secession of poorer Citizens : Hortensian Laws. §3. Early inter- 
course of Rome with Greece Proper: the Snake of jEsculapius and Sacred 
Isle. § 4. Now brought into contact with Magna Grsecia and Sicily : 
retrospective view of their wealth and population. § 5. Syracuse. § 6 . 
Rhegium occupied by Mamertines. § 7. Tarentum i her situation and 
people: practice of hiring foreign captains. § 8, Her treaty with Rome: 
she intrigues with Italian nations against Rome. § 9. Thurii seeks aid of 
Rome against Lucanians. § 10. General rising of Southern Italians, as also 
of Etruscans and Gauls : Praetor Metellus cut off in Etruria. § 11. Consul 
Dolabella extirpates Senonians. § 12. Boian Gauls defeated in great battle 
on Lake Yadimo: Colony of Sena Gallica. § 13. Fabricius conducts war 
in South. § 14. Ten Roman ships are assaulted in harbour of Tarentum : 
sack of Thurii. § 15. Roman Envoys insulted: speech of L. Postumius. 
§ 16. Hopes of peace frustrated by promised arrival of Pyrrhus. 

§ 1. Of the years which follow the Samnite wars little is known. 
The first decade of Livy ends here ; and of the second decade, 
which would have carried us on to the beginning of the great 
war with Hannibal, a brief and naked epitome of each book is all 
that remains. For the campaigns of Pyrrhus we have Plutarch ; 
but for the intervening ..years the materials are few and scanty. 


Immediately upon the final submission of the Samnites, in 
290 B.C., the Senate resolved to punish the Sabines for listening 
to the overtures of Gellius Egnatius at the beginning of the late 
war, when the Marsians stood firm in their alliance. The com- 
mander entrusted with the invasion of the difficult country 
formed by the valleys of the highest Apennines, was M' Curius 
Dentatus, a name which may be counted among the most illus- 
trious in Roman history, though we confess with regret that we 
know little of his life. He is said himself to have been of Sabine 
origin, — sprung from the Sabines of the lower country, no doubt, 
who had long been closely united with Rome. He lived, like the 
old plebeian yeomen, on his own farm, and himself shared with 
his men the labours of the field. It is said that on one occasion 
the Samnites sent messengers to tempt him with costly presents 
of gold ; the messengers found him toasting radishes at -the fire ; 
and when he had heard their business, he pointed to his rude 
meal, and said — " Leave me my earthen pans, and let those who 
use gold be my subjects." His honesty and rough vigour of 
character recommended him to the Tribes, and notwithstanding 
his humble condition, he rose to the first offices of state. In the 
year 290 B.C. he was elected Consul, and received the final sub- 
mission of the Samnites. He then straightway turned his arms 
against the Sabines, who fell an easy prey, and henceforth be- 
came absolutely subject to Rome, being obliged to accept the 
citizenship without suffrage, the burdens without the privileges. 

§ 2. After his double triumph over the Samnites and Sabines, 
Curius proposed an Agrarian Law, providing that all the poorer 
citizens (these probably were for the most part the Freedmen 
and others lately admitted into the Tribes) should receive each 
man an allotment of seven jugera in the Sabine country. This 
was vehemently opposed by the greater part of the old citizens, 
Plebeians as well as Patricians, and the life of Curius was thought 
to be in so great danger, that eight hundred young men attached 
themselves to him as a body guard. 

The sequel of this strife cannot be unfolded. All we know is, 
that the poverty of the poor was aggravated by several years of 
famine and pestilence, and that debts again multiplied. The end 
of it was, that about the year 286 B.C., the mass of the poorer 
citizens, consisting chiefly of those who had lately been enfran- 
chised by Appius, left the city and encamped in an oak-wood 
upon the Janiculum. To appease this last Secession, Q. Horten- 
sius, being named Dictator, succeeded in bringing back the 
people by allowing them to enact several laws upon the spot. 
One of these Hortensian laws was an extension of the Agrarian 
Law of Curius, granting not seven, but fourteen jugera (about 9 


acres) to each of the poor citizens. Another provided for the 
reduction of debt. But that which is best known as the Hor- 
tensian law was one enacting that all Eesolutions of the Tribes 
should be law for the whole Roman people.* This was nearly in 
the same terms as the law passed by Valerius and Horatius at 
the close of the Decemvir-ate, and that passed by Publilius Philo 
the Dictator, after the conquest of Latium. 

This was the last Secession of the People. For one hundred 
and fifty years from this time to the appearance of the Gracchi, 
we hear of no civil dissensions at Rome. 

It may be here added, that on the allotment of the Sabine 
domain lands, Curius refused to take more than any other poor 
citizen. But it was decreed by acclamation that he should be 
rewarded by a gift of five hundred jugera (about 320 acres). 

§ 3. Notwithstanding the part played, by Hellenic heroes in 
the earliest Roman Legends, the Romans had as yet had few 
dealings with the Greeks. The tale of Tarquin sending to con- 
sult the Oracle at Delphi, of the mission of the three men to 
procure the laws of Solon, of the answer of the Delphic Priestess 
with respect to the draining of the Alban Lake, are Legends of 
dubious authority. A story that Roman envoys appeared among 
the ambassadors of other Italian peoples at Alexander's court at 
Babylon, is rejected as false by Arrian, the most trustworthy 
historian of the great king. The next time we find Rome men- 
tioned as having intercourse with Greece was soon after the 
close of the third Samnite war. Pestilence was raging at Rome ; 
and the Senate is said to have sent to Epidaurus, to request that 
iEsculapius (the tutelary god of that place) might come to avert 
the evil. The ambassadors returned with a sacred snake, the 
emblem of the god,f who found his own way into their ship, and 
ensconced himself in the ' cabin. When they arrived in the 
Tiber, the snake glided from the ship, and swimming to the 
island which lies between" the Capitol and Aventine disappeared 
there. Here a temple was built to the Greek god of medicine. 
The island was shaped into the rude resemblance of a trireme, 
which it still bears, and to this day it is called by the name of 
the Sacred Isle (Isola Sacra). 

Such are the faint records of Rome's early intercourse with 
Greece Proper. 

§ 4. But there was another Greece nearer home, with which 
she was soon to come' in direct collision. In early times, when 
the name of Rome was yet unknown, the cities of Greece, espe- 
cially the great Dorian city of Corinth, were sending out their 

* " Quod Plebs jussisset, omnes Quirites teneret." See chapt. xvii. § 12. 
t See the coin of Epidaurus at the end of this Chapter. 

i 3 


superfluous population to seek settlements in the western 
worlds. Italy and Sicily were to them what North America 
has been to us. All the eastern and southern coasts of Sicily — 
all the coasts of Lower Italy, from the Bay of Naples to the pro- 
montory of Iapygia, were thick-studded with Grecian Colonies, 
which had become large and flourishing cities when Rome was 
yet struggling for existence. The inhabitants of these Greek 
colonies were known by the names of Siceliotes and Italiotes,* to 
distinguish them from the native Siceli and Itali. The whole 
seabord of Southern Italy received, and still retains, the appella,- 
tion of Magna Grsecia. Hitherto the name of Rome had been 
unfeared and uncared for. The Greeks of Sicily were defended 
by the sea ; those of Italy by the barrier of hardy tribes which 
lay between them and their future mistress. But now this bar- 
rier was broken down. . The brave Samnites had submitted after 
a struggle as noble as any which history has recorded. The Lu- 
canians and Apulians had formed a league with Rome. Already 
had Palaepolis and Neapolis bowed before her. Any day the 
Consuls and their legions might be expected to knock at the 
gates of the southern cities. 

Most of these cities, famous in early time, had fallen into 
decay, caused in part by the inroads of the Oscan and Sabellian 
tribe, in part by civil wars with one another, and by domestic 
convulsions in each. In Sicily especially, the Carthaginians were 
always dangerous ; and here, above all, the changes of Govern- 
ment were most frequent and most violent. Aristocracies were 
supplanted by turbulent democracies, which gave way to des- 
potic rulers, who had been elevated in dangerous times, or who 
had raised themselves by force to sovereign power. Such rulers 
were called Tyrants by the Greeks — a name which (as is well 
known) referred rather to the mode in which power was gained 
than to the mode in which it was exercised. In seditions and 
civil wars thousands and tens of thousands of citizens had fallen ; 
the prosperity of ancient cities had decayed ; cities themselves 
had perished. The vast remains of temples at Agrigentum, at 
Selinus, at Psestum, show what those cities must have been, 
where now not a house is left. AVhole mounds of broken pottery 
cover the environs of Tarentum, and show what masses of men 
must have peopled these now desolate shores. The series of 
coins belonging to this city is surpassed i ik beauty and variety of 
type only by those of Syracuse. Sybaris, the splendid and luxu- 
rious rival of Croton, was destroyed by the latter city. Croton 
herself, though supported by the old remembrance of her Pytha- 
gorean ruleis, had fallen into insignificance. Thurii, the chosen 

Chap. XXI. SYEACUSE. 179 

seat of the old age of Herodotus, and its neighbouring M,etapon- 
tum, Locri, and Rhegium, still retained the vestiges of ancient 
grandeur. The most noted tyrant of Syracuse, Dionysius, was 
one of the chief causes of the decay of the Greek towns of Lower 
Italy. About the time that the Gauls were devastating Latium, 
he did not scruple to league himself with the barbarous Luca- 
nians to establish a tyranny over his fellow-countrymen. And 
about a century later, Agathocles of Syracuse ravaged Lower 
Italy. Thus, by combined violence from many sources, the Hel- 
lenic communities, both of Italy and Sicily, were fallen from 
their ancient magnificence, but Tarentum and Syracuse remained. 
§ 5. Syracuse was founded about the same time as Eome, by 
Archias, a noble Corinthian, who led forth a colony of his coun- 
trymen to seek a new country in the far west. For many years 
the colony was governed (like the mother-city) by a moderate 
aristocracy. This was interrupted by the princely tyranny of 
Gelo and his son Hiero, who held the sceptre of Syracuse at the 
time of the Persian wars from 485 to 467 B.C. The old republic 
was then restored till the invasion of the Athenians in 415, when 
it was supplanted by a violent democracy. This, again, was over- 
thrown by the elder Dionysius in 406 ; but the sceptre which, 
after an active reign of thirty-eight years he transmitted to his 
son, passed finally from that son's feebler grasp about the begin- 
ning of the Samnite wars. For nearly thirty years the republic 
was restored, when another adventurer possessed himself of the 
throne. This was Agathocles, who began life as a potter's 
apprentice, and raised himself first by his personal strength and 
beauty of form, then by the continued exertion of an almost 
fabulous boldness. His reign terminated in 288, soon after the 
third Samnite war had been concluded. A new king, Hiero II., 
was called to the throne in 27 1, and it was in his reign that the 
Romans first set foot in Sicily. 

Of these " sovereigns, it may be observed that the two last, 
Agathocles and Hiero, were no longer called Tyrants, but Kings. 
The former name had fallen into disuse after the splendid royalty 
of Alexander, whom no one, save Demosthenes and his repub- 
lican followers, ventured to call by the name of Tyrant. 

§ 6. Here an event must be mentioned, which has no small 
influence on the subsequent history. A large portion of the 
army of Agathocles consisted of Italians, who called themselves 
Mamertines, that is, servants of Mamers or Mars. They were 
Campanian adventurers of Samnite origin, who took service with 
any government that would pay them. They chose their own 
captains, like the free troops led by the condottieri of the middle 
ages. On the death of Agathocles, a large body of these Mamer- 


tines seized Syracuse as a guarantee for the payment of their 
wages. On payment being made, they were induced to leave the 
city, and were marched to Messana, for the purpose of crossing 
into Italy, But finding this city an inviting prey, they seized it 
and became its lords ; and soon they established their power 
over a large portion of northern Sicily. Meanwhile, the Car- 
thaginians recovered possession of the west of the island. 
Syracuse and the other Greek cities retained a precarious inde- 

Hence it will appear that the Greek-Sicilian cities were in no 
case to help their brethren in Italy, should these be attacked by 
Eome. They could not defend themselves, much less render aid 
to others. 

§ 7. Tarentum, originally a Lacedaemonian colony, lay at the 
northern corner of the great gulf which still bears its name. It 
had an excellent harbour, almost land-locked. On its eastern 
horn stood the city. Its form was triangular ; one side being 
.washed by the open sea, the other by the waters of the harbour, 
while the base or land side was protected by a line of strong 
fortifications. Thus advantageously posted for commerce, the 
city grew apace. She possessed an opulent middle class ; and 
the poorer citizens found an easy subsistence in the abundant 
supply of fish which the gulf afforded. These native fishermen 
were always ready to man the navy of the state. But they made 
indifferent soldiers. Therefore when any peril of war threatened 
the state, it was the practice of the government to hire foreign 
captains, soldiers of fortune, who were often kings or princes, to 
bring an army for their defence. Thus we find them taking into 
their service Archidamus of Sparta and Alexander of Molossus, 
to defend them against the Lucanians. So also, after the second 
Samnite war, when they began to fear the power of Rome, they 
engaged the services of Cleonymus Prince of Sparta to fight their 
battles. They called in Agathocles of Syracuse to war against 
the Bruttians. And last of all, when they came into actual con- 
flict with Rome, they put themselves under the protection of 
Pyrrhus, as we shall presently have to narrate. 

§ 8. Once already had Tarentum been engaged in brief hos- 
tilities with Rome, at the close of the second Samnite war. But 
a treaty had then been made between Rome and the Tarentines 
by which certain limits were prescribed to the fleets of the latter 
power, while the Romans on their part bound themselves not to 
pass the temple of Lacinian Juno, nor let any ships of theirs 
appear in the Gulf of Tarentum. 

After this followed the third Samnite war. At its close it 
seemed clear that Rome was to be, if she was not already, mis- 


tress of Italy. What power could withstand her ? Tarentum 
must now meet Koine face to face, and must decide whether 
they should meet as friend or foe. She chose the latter. For 
the next few years we find the Etruscans and Gauls in the north, 
the Lucanians in the south, renewing war with Eome, and finally 
crushed by her energy. These last struggles are attributed to 
the intrigues of Tarentum ; and when they availed not, she at 
length threw herself into the gap, and called in Pyrrhus, the 
greatest general of the age, to fight the battles of the Greeks 
against Eome. 

§ 9. The first link in the chain of events which led to the 
war with Tarentum was (curiously enough) the aid lent by Home 
to a neighbouring Greek city. This was Thurii. Soon after 
the close of the third Samnite war Thurii was attacked by 
the Lucanians. The Thurians knew that Tarentum would not 
defend them. Some years before Oleonymus of Sparta, the hired 
soldier of Tarentum, made a descent upon their coast and took 
their city, when they implored the aid of Roman legions, which 
came too late indeed, but yet came, and Thurii now hoped for 
more effectual succour. But at this time the domestic struggle 
was going on which ended in the Hortensian law. Soon after 
quiet was restored, the People voted, to declare war against the 

§ 10. This declaration of war was followed by a general rising 
of the Italian nations against Eome. The Lucanians, lately her 
allies, now her enemies, were joined by the Bruttians, part of the 
Apulians, and even by some relics of the Samnites. But the 
attention of the Senate was diverted from this southern war by 
more imminent peril in the north. Early in the year 283 B.C. 
news came that the Etruscans of Vulsinii had again roused the 
states of Northern Etruria to make a joint attack upon Arretium, 
which, under the rule of the friendly Cilnii, remained faithful to 
Eome. They had summoned to their aid an army of Senonian 
Gauls from the coasts of Umbria; and these Celtic barbarians, 
though at peace with Eome, came eager for plunder, and burning to 
avenge their defeat at the battle of Sentinum. Q. Csecilius Me- 
tellus, the Consul of the last year, and now Praetor, was ordered to 
march to the relief of Arretium, while the new Consuls, P. Corne- 
lius Dolabella and Cn. Domitius, prepared to crush the Etruscan 
war. But what was the consternation at Eome when .tidings 
came that Metellus with his whole army had been cut to pieces. 

§ 11. The Senate, nothing daunted, ordered the Consul Dola- 
bella to advance, while Domitius, with M' Curius the Prsetor, re- 
mained in reserve. Meanwhile they sent the Fetials into Umbria 
to complain of the breach of faith committed by the Senoniat] 


Gauls. But it happened that in the battle with Metellus, Brito- 
maris the Gallic chief had fallen, and the young chief, his son, 
burning with mad desire of vengeance, committed another and a 
worse breach of faith : he murdered the sacred envoys in cold 
blood. As soon as the news of this outrage reached the Consul 
Dolabella, he promptly changed his plan. Instead of marching 
towards Arretium he turned to the right, and crossing the Apen- 
nines descended into the Senonian country. This he found 
almost defenceless, for the warriors were absent in Etruria. He 
took a bloody revenge, ravaging the country, burning the dwell- 
ings, slaying the old men, enslaving the women and children. 
The Celtic warriors hastily returned to defend their homes, but 
in vain ; they sustained a complete defeat, and the Senonians of 
[taly were annihilated. 

§ 12. The work of death was not yet done. The Boian Gauls, 
who lived along the southern bank of the Po, from the Trebia to 
the Rubicon, seized their arms and marched southwards to assist 
or avenge their brethren. They overtook Dolabella, but not till 
after he had been joined by his colleague Domitius. The battle 
was fought on the right bank of the Tiber, near the little lake 
Vadimo. It was a fierce conflict ; but the legionaries had be- 
come used to the huge bodies, strange arms, and savage cries of 
the Celtic barbarians ; and their victory was complete. Once 
more, however, the Boians made a desperate rally, and were 
again defeated. 

These great successes kept the Celtic tribes of Northern Italy 
quiet for nearly sixty years. Meanwhile the Senate secured the 
frontier of Umbria and occupied the vacant lands of the Seno- 
nians by the Colony of Sena Gallica, which, under the name of 
Senigaglia, still preserves the memory of its Celtic possessors. 

§ 13. Meanwhile the war had been going on feebly in Lucania; 
but these prompt and successful operations in the north enabled 
the Senate to prosecute it more energetically ; and in the year 
282 B.C. the Consul of the year, C. Fabricius Luscinus, a remark- 
able man, of whom we shall have more to say presently, defeated 
the confederates in several actions, and finally compelled them 
to raise the siege of Thurii. The Roman army was withdrawn, 
but a garrison was left to defend the city ; and the grateful 
people dedicated a statue to their deliverers, the first honour 
paid by Greeks to their future masters. 

§ 14. It was believed at Rome, and not without reason, that 
the Tarentines, though tfyey had not themselves drawn the sword, 
had been the secret instigators of these wars, both in Lucania 
and Etruria. The Senate therefore determined to pay no atten- 
tion to the treaty, by which Roman ships were forbidden to 


appear in the bay of Tarentum ; and on the withdrawal of the 
army of JFabricius, L. Valerius sailed round the Lacinian head- 
land, and with ten ships stood across the gulf towards Tarentum, 
It was a summer noon, and the people were assembled in their 
theatre, which (as was common in Greek cities) was used alike 
for purposes of business and pleasure. This theatre was cut out 
of the side of the hill looking towards the sea, and commanded a 
view of the whole bay. The whole assembly therefore saw the 
treaty violated before their eyes, and lent a ready ear to a dema- 
gogue named Philocharis, who rose and exhorted them to take 
summary vengeance. The people, seamen by habit, rushed 
down to the harbour, manned a number of ships and gained an 
easy victory over the little Eoman squadron. Four ships were 
sunk, one taken, and Valerius himself was killed. The die was 
now cast, and the demagogues pushed the people to further out- 
rages. They marched forth to Thurii, and, accusing that people 
of seeking aid from the barbarians, required the instant dismissal 
of the Roman garrison. This was done, and no sooner was it 
done than the Tarentine populace plundered the unfortunate 
city and drove its chief citizens into exile. 

§ 15. The Senate, unwilling to undertake a new war, in which 
their coasts might be ravaged by the superior navy of the Taren- 
tines, sent an embassy, headed by L. Postumius, to require some 
explanation of this outrageous conduct. They knew that the 
wealthier citizens of Tarentum were as averse from war as them- 
selves, and hoped that by this time the people might be inclined 
to hear the voice of reason. But unfortunately the ambassadors 
arrived at the season of the Dionysia, when the whole people, 
given up to wine and revelry, were again collected in the theatre. 
The Roman envoys were led straight into the orchestra, and 
ordered to state the purpose of their mission. When Postumius 
endeavoured to do so, his bad Greek produced peals of laughter 
from the thoughtless populace. He bore all patiently till a 
drunken buffoon ran up and defiled his white toga with ordure. 
This produced fresh laughter and loud applause, which was again 
renewed, when Postumius held up the sullied robe in the sight of 
all. " Aye," said he, " laugh on now : but this robe of mine shall 
remained uncleansed till it is washed in your best blood ! " 

§ 16. Yet even after these gross insults the Roman People was 
so weary of war that the Senate debated long before they ordered 
L. iEmilius Barbula, the Consul of the year 281 B.C., to march 
southward, while his colleague covered the Etruscan frontier. 
/Emilius was instructed to ravage the lands of the democratic 
party, and to spare the property of those citizens who wished to 
maintain peace ; and so successful was this policy, that the 



Book III. 

demagogues lost their power, and Agis or Apis, tlie chief of the 
moderate party, was chosen strategus. And now there was good 
hope that some satisfaction would be offered for the outrages 
committed against the Romans and their allies, and that peace 
might be maintained : but this hope was soon frustrated. Early 
in the year the chiefs of the democratic party had sent to invite 
Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, to bring over an army and undertake 
the defence of Tarentum. These Tarentihe envoys w r ere accom- 
panied by ambassadors from the Lucanians and Samnites, with 
large promises of soldiers to recruit his army and provisions to 
feed them. Pyrrhus needed no great persuasion to undertake a 
romantic enterprise, and he forthwith despatched Milo, one of 
his best officers, with 3000 men, to garrison the citadel of 
Tarentum. The arrival of Milo restored the democratic party 
to power. Agis was deprived of his office : the Roman Consul 
retired into Apulia, and fixed his head-quarters at the colony of 

Pyrrhus was now expected every day, and the Tarentine popu- 
lace gave themselves up to immoderate joy. "Aye, dance and 
sing, while ye may," said one of their graver citizens ; " there 
will be something else to do when Pyrrhus comes." 

£toin of Epidaunis. 

Coin of Pyrrhus with head of Doduiieau Zeus. 


PYRRHUS IN ITALY. (280 — 275 B.C.) - 

§ 1. Adventurous youth of Pyrrhus, King ofEpirus: lust of conquest. § 2, 
Arrives at Tarentum: stern discipline. § 3. Preparations of Romans, 
§ 4. Pyrrhus meets Romans on Siris : battle of Heraclea. § 5. Remarks 
ofPyrrhus after victory. §6. Locri joins Pyrrhus : Rhegium seized b\ 
Campanian captain, Decius Jubellius: disappointment of Pyrrhus. § 7. 
Mission of Cineas to Rome : patriotic speech of App. Claudius. § 8. 
Report of Cineas : Pyrrhus marches into Latium, but Rome remains firm. 
§ 9. Embassy of Fabricius during winter. § 10. Second campaign : 
Battle of Asculum in Apulia : Pyrrhus inclined to peace. §11. Consuls 
of the next year warn him of his physician's treachery : Pyrrhus restores 
prisoners and departs for Sicily. § 12. His fortunes in Sicily. § 13. 
Returns to Italy in third year. § 14. M* Curius, the Consul, compels 
Romans to enlist. § 15. Battle of Beneventum : defeat ofPyrrhus. § 16. 
After fate of Pyrrhus. 

§ 1. Pyrrhus was now in his thirty-eighth year. His whole life 
had been a course of adventure and peril. His father iEacidas 
was King of Epirus ; and the young prince, being left an orphan 
at the age of five amid the troubles which followed the death of 
Alexander the Great, he led a wandering and uncertain life, 
till, at about seventeen years of age, he sought refuge at the court 
of Antigonus, the Macedonian king of Syria. Here he formed a 
friendship with the king's son, the celebrated Demetrius Polior- 
cetes, and was present on the bloody field of Ipsus (301 B.C.), 
which deprived Antigonus of his life, and Demetrius of his succes- 
sion. After this defeat, he was received at the magnificent court 
of Ptolemy Soter, the first Macedonian king of Egypt, as a hostage 
for his friend Demetrius. Here Pyrrhus found favour with the 
queen Berenice, who gave him in marriage Antigone, her 
daughter by a former marriage, and persuaded Ptolemy to assist 


him in recovering his Epirote sovereignty, where he established 
himself so firmly that on the death of Cassander, he disputed 
with his former friend Demetrius the succession to the throne of 
Macedon. For a time he was master of the Eastern provinces ; 
but, after a seven months' reign, Pyrrhus was again driven across 
the mountains into Epirus (b.c. 287). For the next few years 
he lived at peace ; built Ambracia as a new capital of his do- 
minions, and reigned there in security and magnificence. He 
was in the prime of life, handsome in person, happy in temper, 
popular from his frankness and generosity, and reputed to be a 
skilful soldier. But neither his nature nor his restless youth 
had fitted him for the enjoyment of happy tranquillity. He had 
married as his second wife the daughter of Agathocles of Syra- 
cuse ; the exploits of that remarkable man fired his soul ; he 
remembered that Alcibiades, that Alexander, that every Greek 
conqueror had looked to the West as a new scene for enterprise 
and triumph ; and he lent a ready ear to the solicitations of the 
Italian envoys. After defeating the Eomans and Carthaginians, 
he might return as king of Southern Italy and Sicily, and dictate 
terms to the exhausted monarchs of Macedon and Asia. These 
had been the dreams of less romantic persons than himself. 

§ 2. It was at the end of the year 281 B.C. that he left Epirus 
with a force of about 20,000 foot, and 4000 or 5000 horse, together 
with a squadron of 20 elephants, held by the Greeks of that time 
to be a necessary part of a complete armament. On the pas- 
sage his ships were scattered by a storm, but eventually they all 
reached Tarentum in safety. His infantry was in part supplied 
by Ptolemy Ceraunus, now King of Macedon. His cavalry were 
Thessalian, the best in Greece. It was a small army for the 
execution of designs so vast. But he trusted to the promises of 
the Lucanians and Samnites ; and he also intended to make the 
Tarentines into soldiers. No sooner had he landed, than this 
people found how true were the words of their fellow-citizen. 
They had meant Pyrrhus to fight their battles, like his kinsman, 
Alexander of Epirus ; but he resolved that they also should 
fight his battles. He shut up the theatres and other places of 
public amusement ; closed the democratic clubs ; put some 
demagogues to death, and banished others ; and ordered all 
citizens of military age to be drilled for the phalanx. The indo- 
lent populace murmured, but in vain. The horse had taken a 
rider on his back to avenge him on the stag, and it was no 
longer possible to shake him off. 

§ 3. With the early spring the Eomans took the field. Ti. 
Coruncanius, plebeian Consul for the year 280, commanded against 
the Etrurians, with orders to make a peace if possible. P. Valerius 


Lsevinus, his patrician colleague, was to march through Lucania, 
so as to prevent the Lucanians from joining the king ; while 
^Emilius, Consul of the former year, was stationed at Venusia, 
to hold the Samnites and Apulians in check. A Campanian 
legion, composed of Mamertines, commanded by one Decius 
Jubellius, an officer of their own choosing, occupied Rhegium, 
in order (we may suppose) to intercept communications from 

§ 4. As the king moved along the coast from Heraclea he 
came in view of the Roman army, encamped on the right bank 
of the little river Siris. His practised eye was at once struck by 
the military order of the enemy's camp. And when he saw them 
cross the broad but shallow stream in the face of his own army, 
and form their line before he could close with them, he remarked, 
" In war, at least, these barbarians are no way barbarous." 

And now for the first time the Roman Legions had to stand 
the shock of the Greek Phalanx. The tactics of the two armies 
were wholly different. The free order of the Legions, which now 
fought with pila and swords, has been described above. On the 
other hand, the Epirotes formed two great columns, called the 
Phalanxes, in which each man stood close to his fellow, so that 
half his body was covered by his right-hand man's shield. They 
were drawn up sixteen deep, and their long pikes, called sarissae, 
bristled so thickly in front, that the line was impenetrable 
unless a gap could be made in the front ranks. They acted 
mechanically, by weight. If they were once broken they were 
almost defenceless. Level ground, therefore, was necessary to 
their effective action. 

Pyrrhus had secured this last-named advantage : the plain of 
Heraclea was well adapted for the regular movement of the 
phalanxes, as well as for that of his cavalry and elephants. The 
action began by the Roman cavalry crossing the Siris, and driving 
back a squadron of the Thessalian horse, the remainder of which, 
with the elephants, were yet in rear. The main body of the 
Romans, inspirited by this success, followed across the bed of the 
river to assail the phalanxes. But they could make no impres- 
sion on these solid masses ; the Principes took the place of the 
Hastati, and the Triarii succeeded to the Principes, in vain. 
Lsevinus then ordered up his cavalry to attack the phalanxes in 
flank. But they were met by the whole body of Thessalian 
horse, supported by the elephants. The Romans had never 
before seen these monstrous animals, which in their ignorance 
they called " Lucanian oxen :" their horses would not face them, 
and galloped back affrighted among the infantry. Pyrrhus now led 
his whole line forward, and the rout was general. The Romans 


were driven back across the Siris, and did not attempt to defend 
their camp. Yet they soon rallied, and retired in good order 
into Apulia, where Venusia was ready to receive them. It was 
now seen with what judgment the Senate had occupied that 
place with a large Colony. 

§ 5. The victory of Heraclea was gained at a heavy loss. 
Pyrrhus now rightly estimated the task he had undertaken. He 
txad a soldier's eye. When he visited the field of battle next day, 
and saw every Roman corpse with its wounds in front, he ex- 
claimed : " If these were my soldiers, or if I were their general, 
we should conquer the world." When he offered in the temple 
of Jove at Tarentum a portion of the spoils taken after the 
battle, he placed on them the following inscription : — 

" Those who had ne'er been vanquished yet, great Father of Olympus, 
Those have 1 vanquished in the fight, and they have vanquished me," 

And when he was asked why he spoke thus, he answered : 
'•'Another victory like this will send me without a man back 
to Epirus." 

§ 6. The battle of Heraclea, however, encouraged the Greek 
cities of Locri and Rhegium to throw off the Roman yoke. 
Locri joined Pyrrhus ; but Decius Jubellius, and his Campanian 
soldiers declared themselves independent, and seized Rhegium 
for themselves. But, above all, the battle of Heraclea left the 
ground open for the Lucanians and Samnites to join the king ; 
and he advanced into Samnium to claim the fulfilment of their 
promises. But as he advanced he was struck by the desolate 
condition of the country ; and he reproached the Italians w T ith 
deceiving him. The battle which had just been fought taught 
him how formidable was the foe he had to deal with ; and what 
he now saw, proved that he must trust to his own resources. 
He resolved therefore to end the war at once by negotiating an 
advantageous peace. 

§ 7. The person employed in this negotiation was Cineas, a 
name only less remarkable than that of Pyrrhus himself. He 
was a Thessalian Greek, famous for his eloquence, but still more 
famous for his diplomatic skill. He served Pyrrhus as minister 
at home and ambassador abroad. " The tongue of Cineas," 
Pyrrhus used to say, " had won him more battles than his own 
sword." So quick was his perception, and so excellent his me- 
mory, that he had hardly arrived in Rome when he could call 
every Senator by his name, and address every one according to 
his character. The terms he had to offer were stringent ; for 
Pyrrhus required that all Greek cities should be left free, and that 
all the places that had been taken from the Samnites, Apulians, 
and his other allies, should be restored. Yet the skill of Cineas 


would have persuaded the Senate to submit to these terms 
if it had not been for one man. This was Appius Claudius the 
Censor. He was now in extreme ola age ; he had been blind for 
many years, and had long ceased to take part in public affairs. 
But now, when he heard of the proposed surrender, he caused 
himself to be conducted to the senate-house by his four sons and 
his five sons-in-law, and there, with the authoritative eloquence 
of an oracle, he confirmed the wavering spirits of the Fathers, 
and dictated the only answer worthy of Rome, — that she would 
not treat of peace with Pyrrhus till he had quitted the shores of 
Italy. The dying patriotism of Appius covers the multitude of 
arbitrary acts of which he was guilty, in his Censorship. 

§ 8. Cineas returned to Pyrrhus, baffled and without hope. 
He told his master, that "to fight with the Roman People was 
like fighting with the hydra ;" he declared that "the City was as 
a temple of the gods, and the Senate an assembly of kings." But 
the king resolved to try what effect might be produced by the 
presence of his army in Latium. He passed rapidly through 
Campania, leaving it to be plundered by the Samnites, and ad- 
vanced upon Rome by the upper or Latin road. He took the 
colony of Fregellae by storm ; he received the willing submis- 
sion of Anagnia, the capital of the Hernicans, and was admitted 
into the impregnable citadel of Prseneste, for both the Hernicans 
and the Prasnestines were only half Roman citizens ; they bore 
the burthens without enjoying the privileges, and were therefore 
glad to welcome a chance of liberty. He then advanced sue 
miles beyond Prseneste, within eighteen miles of Rome. But 
here his course was stayed. There were no signs of defection 
among the bulk of the Latins, or Volscians, or Campanians, who 
had been admitted into the Tribes and enjoyed the full honours 
of Roman citizenship, Ti. Coruncanius, afterwards Chief Pontiff, 
and now Consul, was himself a Latin of Tusculum. What he 
had gained all might hope for. 

§ 9. This winter is famous for the embassy of C. Fabricius, who 
was sent by the Senate with two other Consulars to propose to 
Pyrrhus an interchange of prisoners. The character and habits 
of Fabricius resembled those of Curius. He lived in frugal sim- 
plicity upon his own farm, and was honoured by his countrymen 
for his inflexible uprightness. He was somewhat younger than 
Curius, and seems to have been less rough in manners and more 
gentle in disposition. The stories are well known which tell how 
Pyrrhus practised upon his cupidity by offering him gold, and 
upon his fears by concealing an elephant behind the curtains of 
the royal tent, which, upon a given signal, waved its trunk over 
his head • and how Fabricius calmly refused the bribe, and looked 


with unmoved eye upon the threatening monster. Pyrrhus, it 
is said, so admired the bearing of the Roman that he wished him 
to enter into his service like Cineas, an offer which, to a Roman 
ear, could convey nothing but insult. The King refused to give 
up any Roman citizens whom he had taken, unless the Senate 
would make peace upon the terms proposed through Cineas : but 
he gave his prisoners leave to return home in the month of 
December to partake in the joviality of the Saturnalia, if they 
would pledge their word of honour to return. His confidence 
was not misplaced. The prisoners used every effort to pro- 
cure peace ; but the Senate remained firm, and ordered every 
man, under penalty of death, to return to Tarentum by the 
appointed day. 

§ 10. Hostilities were renewed next year (279). The new Con- 
suls were P. Sulpicius for the Patricians and P. Decius Mus, son 
and grandson of those illustrious Plebeians who had devoted them- 
selves to death beneath Vesuvius and at Sentinum. We are 
ignorant of the details of the campaign till we find the Consuls 
strongly encamped on the hills which command the plain of 
Apulian Asculum. Here Pyrrhus encountered them. After 
some skilful manoeuvring he drew the Romans down into the 
plain, where his phalanx and cavalry could act freely. He placed 
the Tarentines in the centre, the Italian allies on his left wing, 
and his Epirotes and Macedonians in phalanx on the right ; his 
cavalry and elephants he kept in reserve. A second time the 
Poman Legions wasted their strength upon the phalanxes. Again 
and again they charged that iron wall with unavailing bravery, 
till Pyrrhus brought up his cavalry and elephants, as at Heraclea, 
and the Romans were broken. But this time they made good 
their retreat to their entrenched camp, and Pyrrhus did not 
think it prudent to pursue them. He had little confidence in 
his Italian allies, who hated the Greeks even more than they 
hated the Romans, and gave signal proof of their perfidy by 
plundering the" king's camp while he was in action. The loss on 
both sides was heavy. The second victory was now won ; but 
the king's saying was fast being fulfilled. In these two battles 
he had lost many of his chief officers and a great number of the 
Epirotes, the only troops on whom he could rely. He dared not 
advance ; and when he returned to Tarentum news awaited him 
which dispirited him still more. The Romans, he heard, had 
concluded a defensive alliance with Carthage, so that the supe- 
riority of Tarentum at sea w T ould be lost ; Ptolemy Ceraunus, 
who had promised him fresh troops from Macedon, had been 
slain by the Gauls, and these barbarians were threatening to 
overrun Greece. 


§ 11. Under these circumstances he seized the first occasion of 
making peace with Eome. This was afforded early in the next 
year (278) by a communication he received from the new Consuls 
Q. iEmilius and C. Fabricius. They sent to give him notice 
that his physician or cup-bearer (the accounts vary) had offered 
to take him off by poison. Pyrrhus returned his warmest 
thanks, sent back all his prisoners fresh-clothed and without 
ransom, and told his allies he should accept an invitation he had 
just received to take the i command of a Sicilian-Greek army 
against the Carthaginians and Mamertines. Accordingly he sailed 
from Locri to Sicily, evading the Carthaginian fleet which had 
been lying in wait for him. He left the Italians to the mercy of 
the Piomans, but Milo still kept hold of the citadel of Tarentum, 
and Alexander, the king's son, remained in garrison at Locri. 

He had been a little more than two years in Italy, for he came 
at the end of the year 281 B.C. and departed early in 278 : he re- 
turned towards the close of 276, so that his stay in Sicily was 4 
about two years and a half. The events of this period may be 
very briefly summed up. 

§ 12. The Samnites and Lucanians continued a sort of partisan 
warfare against Eome, in which, though the Consuls were ho- 
noured with triumphs, no very signal advantages seem to have 
been gained. The Romans no doubt took back the places on 
the Latin road which had submitted to the king ; they also made 
themselves masters of Locri, and utterly destroyed the ancient 
city of Croton, but they failed to take Rhegium, which was 
stoutly maintained by Decius Jubellius and his Campanians 
against Pyrrhus and Romans alike. Meanwhile Pyrrhus was 
pursuing a career of brilliant success in Sicily. He confined the 
Mamertines within the walls of Messana, and in a brilliant cam- 
paign drove the Carthaginians to the extreme west of the island. 
But in an evil hour he undertook the siege of Lilybaeum, a place 
which the Carthaginians had made almost impregnable. He was 
obliged to raise the siege and lost the confidence of his fickle 
Greek allies. Before this also death had deprived him of the 
services of Cineas. Left to himself, he was guilty of many harsh 
and arbitrary acts, which proceeded rather from impatience and 
disappointment than from a cruel or tyrannical temper. It now 
became clear that he could hold Sicily no longer, and he gladly 
accepted a new invitation to return to Italy. 

§ 13. Accordingly, late in the year 276 B,c, he set sail for 
Tarentum. On the passage he was intercepted by a Carthaginian 
fleet, and lost the larger number of his ships ; and, on landing 
between Rhegium and Locri, he suffered further loss by an 
assault from the Campanians, who still held the former city. 


Yet, once in Italy, he found himself at the head of a large army, 
composed partly of his veteran Epirotes, and partly of soldiers of 
fortune who had followed him from Sicily. His first act was to 
recover possession of Locri ; and here, in extreme want of money, 
he listened to evil counsellors, and plundered the rich temple of 
Proserpine. The ships that were conveying the plunder were 
wrecked, and Pyrrhus, conscience-stricken, restored all that was 
saved. But the memory of the deed haunted him : he has 
recorded his belief that this sacrilegious act was the cause of all 
his future misfortunes. 

§ 14. The Consuls of the next year were L. Cornelius Lentulus 
and M' Curius Dentatus. On Curius depended the fortunes of. 
Rome. The people were much disheartened, for pestilence was 
raging. The statue of Capitoline Jupiter had been struck by 
lightning, and men's hearts were filled with ominous forebodings. 
When the Consuls held their levy, the citizens summoned for 
service did not answer their names. Then Curius ordered the 
goods of the first recusant to be sold, a sentence which was fol- 
lowed by the loss of all political rights. This severe measure 
had its effect, and the required legions were made up. 

§ 15. Lentulus marched into Lucania, Curius into Samnium. 
Pyrrhus chose the latter country for the seat of war. He found 
Curius encamped above Beneventum, and he resolved on a night 
attack, so as to surprise him before he could be joined by his 
colleague. But night attacks seldom succeed : part of the army 
missed its way, and it was broad daylight before the Epirote 
army appeared before the camp of the Consul. Curius imme- 
diately drew out his legions, and assaulted the enemy while they 
were entangled in the mountains. He had instructed his archers 
to shoot arrows wrapped in burning tow at the elephants, and to 
this device is attributed the victory he won. One of the females, 
hearing the cries of her young one, which had been wounded in 
this way, rushed furiously into the ranks of her own men. 
Curius now brought up the main body of his foot and attacked 
the disordered phalanxes : they were broken and became help- 
less. The defeat was complete : Pyrrhus fell back at once upon 
Tarentum, and resolved to quit the shores of Italy, leaving Mile 
to hold the citadel. 

§ 16. But the glory of his life was ended; the two or three 
years that remained of it were passed in hopeless enterprises. In 
storming Argos he was killed by a tile thrown by a woman from 
the roof of a house. Such was the end of this remarkable man. 
Like Richard I. of England or Charles XII. of Sweden, he passed 
his life in winning battles without securing any fruits of victory ; 
and, like them, a life passed in the thick of danger was ended iu 


a petty war and by an unknown hand. His chivalric disposition 
won him the admiration even of his enemies ; his impetuous 
temper and impatience of misfortune prevented him from 
securing the confidence of his friends. Yet he left a name 
worthy of his great ancestry ; and we part with regret from the 
history of his Italian wars, for it is the most frank and generous 
conflict in which Home was ever engaged. 





1. Milo left by Pyrrhus in Tar en turn. §2. Final reduction of Samnites 
and Italians of South. § 3. Surrender of Tarentum : embassy of Ptolemy 
Philadelphia to Rome. § 4. Campanian soldiers in Rhegium compelled to 
surrender . their fate. § 5. Submission of Sallentines and Messapians : 
Colony of Brundusium. § 6. Reduction of Picenians and Umbrians. § 7. 
Of Etruscans. § 8. Account of Settlement of Italy: present extent of 
Roman Territory : none but its inhabitants admitted to a share in govern- 
ment. § 9. Principles adopted in regulating Italy : Isolation and Self- 
government. § 10. How Isolation was produced: different conditions of 
Italian Towns. §11. Prefectures. §12. Municipal Towns. §13. Colo- 
nies. § 14. Colonies of Roman Citizens. § 15. Latin Colonies. § 16. 
Jus Latii. § 17. Free and Confederate States. § 18. Constitutions of 
Italian Towns. § 19. Admirable results of the system. 

§ 1. The departure of Pyrrhus left Italy at the mercy of Rome. 
Yet Milo, the king's lieutenant, still held the citadel of Tarentum, 
and none of the nations who had lately joined the Epirote 
standard submitted without a final struggle. 

§ 2. Affairs of the South. — The Samnites, Lucanians, Brut- 
tians, and other tribes continued a kind of guerrilla warfare, for 
which their mountains afforded great facilities. To put an end 


to this, in the year 272 B.C., L. Papirius Cursor the younger, and 
Sp. Carvilius, who had crushed the Samnites at the . close of the 
third war, were again elected Consuls. Papirius invested Taren- 
tum ; and while the lines were being formed, he received the 
submission of the Lucanians and Bruttians. 

Meanwhile Carvilius attacked the Samnites, and the scattered 
remnants of that brave people saw themselves compelled to submit 
finally to Rome, after a struggle of about seventy years. Thus 
ended what is sometimes called the Fourth Samnite war. 

§ 3. The same summer witnessed the reduction of Tarentum. 
Papirius entered into a secret treaty with Milo, by which the 
latter was to evacuate the city and leave it to the will of the 
Eomans. He sailed for Epirus with all his men and stores, and 
Tarentum was left to itself. The aristocratical party instantly 
seized the government, and made submission to Rome. They 
were allowed to continue independent, on condition of paying an 
annual tribute to the conqueror : but their fortifications were 
rased, their arsenal dismantled, their fleet surrendered to Rome, 
and a Roman garrison placed in their citadel. 

The attention excited by the failure of Pyrrhus is attested by 
the fact that in the year 273 B.C. Ptolemy Philadelphus, sovereign 
of Egypt, sent ambassadors to Rome, and entered into alliance 
with Rome. Thus began a connexion with Egypt which continued 
unbroken to the time of Csesar. 

§ 4. In 271 B.C. the Plebeian Consul L. Genucius was sent to 
reduce Decius Jubellius and the Campanian soldiers, who had 
made themselves Lords of Rhegium, and formed a military 
oligarchy in that city. The Senate formed a treaty with the 
Mamertine soldiery, who had occupied Messana in the same 
manner, and thus detached them from alliance with their com- 
patriots : they also secured supplies of corn from Hiero, the new 
sovereign of Syracuse. The Campanians of Rhegium being thus 
forsaken, the city was taken by assault and all the soldiery put 
to the sword, except the original legionaries of Jubellius, who as 
burgesses of Capua possessed some of the rights of Roman 
citizens, and were therefore reserved for trial before the People 
of Rome. Not more than three hundred still survived out of 
several thousands ; but they met with no mercy. Every Tribe 
voted that they should be first scourged and then beheaded as 
traitors to the Republic. Rhegium was restored to the condition 
of a Greek community. 

§ 5. A few years later (266 bx\) the Sallentines and Messapians 
in the heel of Italy submitted to the joint forces of both Consuls. 
Brundusium and its lands were ceded to Rome; and about 
twenty years afterwards (244 B.C.) a colony was planted there. 

k 2 


Brundusium became the Dover of Italy, as Dyrrhachium, on the 
opposite Epirote coast, became the Calais of Greece. 

§ 6. Affairs of the North. — In the year 268 B.C. both Con- 
suls undertook the reduction of the Picentines, who occupied the 
coast land between Urnbria and the Marrucinians. Their chief 
city, Asculum, was taken by storm. A portion of the people 
was transferred to that beautiful coast between Naples and the 
Silarus, where they took the name of Picentines. 

Soon after (266 B.C.) Sarsina, the chief city of the Umbrians,, 
was taken, and all TJmbria submitted to Rome. 

§ 7. It remains to speak of Etruria. No community here was 
strong enough, so far as we hear, to maintain active war against 
Rome ; even Vulsinii was now compelled to sue for succour. 
The ruling aristocracy had ventured to arm their serfs, probably 
for the purpose of a Roman war ; but these men had turned 
upon their late masters, and were now exercising a still direr 
oppression than they had suffered. The Senate readily gave ear 
to a call for assistance from the Volsinian lords ; and (in the 
year 265 B.C.) Q. Fabius Gurges, son of old Fabius Maximus, 
invested the city. He was slain in a sally made by the Etruscan 
serfs, who were, however, obliged to surrender soon after. The 
Romans treated the city as lawfully-gotten booty. The old 
Etruscan town on the hill-top, with its polygonal walls, was 
destroyed ; its 2000 statues and other works of art were trans- 
ferred to Rome ; a new town was founded on the low ground, 
which in the modernised name of Bolsena still preserves the 
memory of its ancient fame. After the fall of Vulsinii, all the 
Etruscan communities made formal submission ; and all Italy 
awaited the will of the conquering City of the Tiber. 

§ 8. We must now give a brief account of the manner in which 
the Roman government so ordered the noble dominions of which 
they were now masters, that for many years at least absolute 
tranquillity prevailed. 

To conceive of ancient Rome as the capital of Italy in the 
same sense that London is the capital of England, or Paris of 
France, would be a great mistake. London and Paris are the 
chief cities of their respective countries only because they are 
the seat of government. But the City of ancient Rome was a 
great Corporate Body or Community, holding sovereignty over 
the whole of Italy, from the Macra and Rubicon downwards. 
The Roman territory itself, in the first days of the Republic, 
consisted (as we have seen) of twenty-one Tribes or Wards. 
Before the point at which we have arrived, these Tribes had 
been successively increased to three-and-thirty. These Tribes 
included a district beyond the Tiber stretching somewhat further 


than Voii ; a portion of the Sabine and iEquian territory beyond 
the Anio ; with part of Latium, part of the Volscian country, 
and the coast- land as far as the Liris, southward. None but 
persons enrolled on the lists of these Tribes had a vote in the 
Popular Assemblies or any share in the government and legisla- 
tion of the City. The Latin Cities not included in the Tribes, 
and all the Italian Communities, were subject to Rome, but had 
no share in her political franchise. 

§ 9. The principles on which the Italian nations were so settled 
as to remain the peaceable subjects of Rome were these. First, 
they were broken up and divided as much as possible ; secondly, 
they were allowed, with little exception, to manage their own 
affairs. The Isolation enforced by Rome prevented them from 
combining against her. The Self-government granted by Rome 
made them bear her supremacy with contentment. 

§ 10. The arts by which Isolation was produced were put in 
practice at the settlement of Latium fifty years before. The 
same plan was pursued with the different Italian nations. Those 
which submitted with a good grace were treated leniently. 
Those which resisted stubbornly were weakened by the confis- 
cation of their lands and by the settlement of colonies in their 
principal towns. The FYentanians are the best example of the 
milder treatment; theSamnites afford the most notable instance 
of the more harsh. 

The work of Isolation was promoted partly by the long and 
narrow shape of Italy and the mountain range by which it is 
traversed, which make a central government difficult, .and still 
break it up into many states i but partly also by a sentiment 
common to most of the Italian nations, as well as to those of 
Greece. They regarded a man, not as one of a Nation, but as 
the member of a Civic Community. Every one regarded his 
first duties as owed to his own City, and not to his Nation. 
Their City was their Country. They addressed one another not 
as fellow-countrymen, but as fellow-citizens. Rome herself was 
the noblest specimen of this form of society. And the settle- 
ment which she adopted throughout Italy took advantage of this 
prevailing rule, and perpetuated it. 

Not only were the Italians split up into civic communities, 
but these communities were themselves placed in very different 
conditions. The division of the Italian communities, as estab- 
lished by the Roman Government, was threefold — Prefectures, 
Municipal Towns, and Colonies. 

§ 11. Prefectures. — The Prefectures did not enjoy the right 
of Self-government, but were under the rule of Prefects or 


Roman governors, annually appointed ; and the inhabitants of 
the Prefecture were registered by the Roman Censor, so as to be 
liable to all the burthens of Roman citizens, without enjoying 
any of their privileges. > This condition was called the Caerite 
Franchise, because the town of Caere was the first community 
placed in this dependent position. Amid the terror of the 
Gallic invasion, Csere had afforded a place of refuge to the 
sacred things, to the women and children of the Romans, and 
had been rewarded by a treaty of equal alliance. But at a later 
period she joined other Etruscan communities in war against 
Rome, and for this reason she was reduced to the condition of 
a Prefecture. Capua afterwards became a notable instance of a 
similar change. After the Samnite wars she enjoyed a state of 
perfect equality in respect to Rome. The troops which she 
supplied in virtue of the alliance between her and Rome formed 
a separate legion, and were commanded by officers of her own, 
as in the case of Decius Jubellius. But in the Hannibalic war 
she joined Hannibal ; and to punish her she was degraded to the 
condition of a Prefecture. 

§ 12. Municipal Towns. — At the period of which we write, 
these were Communities bound to Rome by treaties of alliance 
varying in detail, but framed on a general principle with respect 
to burthens and privileges. Their burthens consisted in fur- 
nishing certain contingents of troops, which they were obliged 
to provide with pay and equipments while on service. Their 
privileges consisted in freedom from all other taxes, and in 
possessing the right of Self-government. This condition was 
secured by a treaty of alliance, which, nominally at least, placed 
the Municipal Community on a footing of equality with Rome ; 
though sometimes this treaty was imposed by Rome without 
consulting the will of the other Community. Thus there was, 
no doubt, a considerable diversity of condition among the 
Municipia. Some regarded their alliance as a boon, others 
looked upon it as a mark of subjection. In the former condition 
were Caer6 and Capua before they were made Prefectures; in 
the latter condition were Volsinii and the Etruscan cities. The 
Municipal Towns enjoyed the Civil or Private rights of Roman 
citizens ; but none, without special grant, had any power of 
obtaining the Political or Public Rights. In some cases even 
the Private Rights were withheld, as from the greater part of the 
Latin communities after the war of 340 B.C., when the citizens of 
each Community were for a time forbidden to form contracts 
of marriage or commerce with Roman citizens or with their 
neighbours. They stood to Rome and to the rest of Italy much 
in the same condition as the Plebeians to the Patricians before 
the Canuleian law. But these prohibitions were gradually and 


silently removed. Municipal Towns were often rewarded by a 
gift of the Eoman franchise, more or less completely, while those 
which offended were depressed to the condition of Prefectures. 
At length, by the Julian and other Laws (b.c. 90), of which we 
shall speak in the proper place, all the Municipal Towns of Italy, 
as well as the Colonies, received the full Eoman franchise : and 
hence arose the common conception of a Municipal Town, that 
is, a Community of which the citizens are members of the whole 
nation, all possessing the same rights, and subject to the same 
burthens, but retaining the administration of law and govern- 
ment in all local matters which concern not the nation at large. 

§ 13. Colonies. — It is in the Colonial Towns that we must 
look for the chief instruments of Roman supremacy in Italy. 
Direetly dependent upon Rome for existence, they served more 
than anything to promote that division of interests which ren- 
dered it so difficult for Italy, or any part of Italy, to combine 
against the Roman government. 

When we speak or think of Roman Colonies, we must dismiss 
all those conceptions of colonisation which are familiar to our 
minds from the practice either of ancient Greece or of the 
maritime states of modern Europe. Roman Colonies were not 
planted in new countries by adventurers who found their old 
homes too narrow for their wants or their ambition. When the 
Romans planted a Colony (at the time we speak of and for more 
than a century later), it was always within the limits of the 
Italian Peninsula, and within the walls of ancient cities whose 
obstinate resistance made it imprudent to restore them to inde- 
pendence, and whose reduced . condition rendered it possible to 
place them in the condition of subjects. But these Colonies 
were not all of the same character. They must be distinguished 
into two classes, — the Colonies of Roman Citizens, and the Latin 

§ 14. The Colonies of Roman Citizens consisted usually of 
three hundred men of approved military experience, who w r ent 
forth with their families to occupy conquered cities of no great 
magnitude, but which were important as military positions, being 
usually on the sea-coast.* These three hundred families formed 
a sort of patrician caste, while the old inhabitants sank into the 
condition formerly occupied by the plebeians at Rome. The 
heads of these families retained all their rights as Roman citizens, 
and might repair to Rome to vote in the Popular Assemblies. 
When in early Roman history we hear of the revolt of a Colony, 

All such were called specially Colonics Navales. 


the meaning seems to be that the natives rose against the colo- 
nists and expelled them. Hence it is that we hear of colonists 
being sent more than once to the same place, as to Antium. 

§ 15. But more numerous and more important than these were 
the Latin Colonies, of which there were thirty in existence when 
Hannibal crossed the Alps. Of these thirty no fewer than 
twenty-six had been founded before the close of the year 263 B.C. 
The reason for the name they bore was this. We have seen 
that a close connexion had subsisted between Rome and the 
Latin communities from the earliest times. Under the later 
Kings Rome was the head of Latium ; and by Spurius Oassius 
a League was formed between Rome and Latium, which con- 
tinued with a slight interruption till the great Latin War of 
340 B.C. So long as this League lasted, Latins enjoyed all the 
Private Rights of Roman citizens in Rome ; and Romans enjoyed 
all the Private Rights of the Latin citizens in any of the cities of 
Latium. During the period of the league many Colonies were 
sent forth, in which the settlers consisted jointly of Romans and 
Latins, and were not confined to the small number of three hun- 
dred, but usually amounted to some thousands. But the citizens 
of these Latin Colonies seem to have had no rights at Rome, 
except such as were possessed by the allied Municipal Towns. 
They were therefore regarded politically as Communities in 
alliance with Rome. After the Latin war, similar Colonies still 
continued to be sent forth. Indeed, these were the Colonies 
which chiefly relieved the poor of the Roman territory. At first, 
no doubt, the Colonists remained distinct from the old inhabi- 
tants ; but gradually both were fused into one body, like the 
Sabines and Latins at Rome, like the Samnites and Oscans in 

The Latin Colonies, then, at that time were merely Allied 
Cities, bound to furnish troops for the service of Rome, and 
maintaining the Roman alliance in the midst of a hostile popula- 
tion. It is to these Colonies that we must chiefly attribute that 
tenacious grasp which Rome was able to keep upon every dis- 
trict in Italy. 

§ 16. The rights and privileges of these Latin Colonies are only 
known to us as they are found at a later period of the Republic 
under the name of Latinitas, or the Right of Latium (Jus Latii). 
This Right, at the later time we speak of, we know to have con- 
sisted in the power of obtaining the full Rights of a Roman 
Burgess, but in a limited and peculiar manner. Any citizen of a 
Latin Community, whether one of the Free Cities of Latium or a 
Latin Colony, was allowed to emigrate to Rome and be enrolled 
in one of the Roman Tribes, on two conditions : first, that he 


had held a magistracy in his native town ; secondly, that he 'left 
a representative of his family in that native town. Thus was 
formed that large body of half-Roman citizens throughout Italy, 
who are so well known to readers of Livy under the appellation 
of u the Latin name." Socii et nomen Latinum — the Allies and 
the Latin Name — was the technical expression for all those 
Italian Communities, besides Rome herself, who were bound to 
supply soldiers for her armies. 

§ 17. Free and Confederate States.* — Besides the mass of 
the Italian Communities which were in a condition of greater or 
less dependence upon Rome, — the Prefectures in a state of abso- 
lute subjection, the Colonies bound by ties of national feeling 
and interest, the Municipal Towns by articles of alliance, — there 
remain to be noticed, fourthly, the Cities which remained wholly 
independent of Rome, but bound to her by treaties of Equal 
Alliance. Of the Latin cities, Tibur and Prceneste alone were 
in this condition ; in Campania, most of the cities, till, after the 
Hannibalic war, Capua and others were reduced to the condition 
of Prefectures ; of the Hellenic cities in the south, Neapolis, 
Rhegium, and others ; in Umbria, Camerium ; in Etruria, Igu- 
vium ; with all the cities of the Frentanians. But as Roman 
power increased, most of these communities were reduced to the 
condition of simple municipal towns. 

§ 18. Whatever is known of the internal constitution of these 
various communities belongs to later times, when by the Julian 
Law they all obtained the Roman franchise, and became part 
and parcel of the Roman state. There can, however, be little 
doubt that in the Colonies a constitution was adopted similar to 
that of Rome herself. The Colonists formed a kind of Patriciate 
or Aristocracy, and the heads of their leading families constituted 
a Senate. There were two chief magistrates, called Duumviri, 
representing the Consuls, to whom (in the more important 
towns) were added one or two men to fulfil the duties of Censor 
and Quaestor. In course of time similar constitutions were intro- 
duced into the Municipal Towns also. 

§ 19. Thus, by placing the Italian Cities in every possible rela- 
tion to herself, from real independence to complete subjection, 
and by planting Colonies, some with full Roman Rights, some with 
a limited power of obtaining these Rights, Rome wove her net of 
sovereignty over the Peninsula, and covered every part with its 
entangling meshes. The policy of Rome, as has been said, may 
be summed up in the two words — Isolation and Self-government. 

* Civitates Libera* et Foederatxe. 

x 3 

Coin of Carthage, with Winged Horse. 





§ 1. Good fortune of Rome in her successive wars. § 2. Saying of Pyrrhus, 
§3. Origin and growth of Carthage: her subjects: government: army. 
§ 4. Her attempts upon Sicily. § 5. Mamertines of Messana and Hiero of 
Syracuse : Mamertines seek protection of Rome. § 6. Hiero and Cartha- 
ginians defeated by Romans. § 7. The First Punic War follows. 

§ 1. Nothing is more remarkable in the History of Rome than 
the manner in which she was brought into contact only with one 
enemy at a time. During the heat of her contest with the Sam- 
nites, Alexander of Macedon was terminating his career. The 
second Samnite war broke out in 326 B.C. : and three years 
later the great King died at the untimely age of thirty-two. 
When he took rest at Babylon, after ten years spent in ceaseless 
activity, he received embassies from all parts of the known 
world. If it is to be believed that among these envoys there 
were representatives of the Samnites and other tribes of Lower 
Italy, their business at the distant court of Alexander could have 
been no other than to solicit the aid of his victorious arms to 
arrest the course of Rome, and protect the south of Italy, so dear 
to every Greek, from her overpowering ambition. The possibility 
that the great King might have turned his course westward 

Chap. XXIV. CARTHAGE. 203 

occurred to Roman minds. Livy broaches the question, whether 
Rome would have risen superior to the contest or not, and 
decides it in the affirmative. But his judgment is that of a 
patriot, rather than of an historian. Scarcely did Rome prevail 
over the unassisted prowess of the Samnites. Scarcely did she 
drive the adventurous Pyrrhus from her shores. If a stronger 
than Pyrrhus — a man of rarest ability both for war and peace — 
had joined his power to that of C. Pontius the Sarnnite, it can 
hardly be doubted that the History of the World would have 
been changed. 

§ 2. The same good fortune attended Rome in her collision 
with Carthage. The adventurous temper of Pyrrhus led him 
from Italy to Sicily, and threw the Carthaginians into alliance 
with the Romans. What might have been the result of the 
Tarentine war, if the diplomacy of Cineas had been employed to 
engage the great African city against Rome? Now that Italy 
was prostrate, it was plain that a collision between the two 
governments was inevitable. As Pyrrhus left the soil of Italy 
for ever, he said regretfully : — " How fair a battle-field we are 
leaving for the Romans and Carthaginians ! " 

§ 3. The famous city of Carthage stood on the north coast of 
Africa at a distance of about 100 miles westward from the 
southernmost point of Sicily. It was a colony from Tyre, the 
great centre of Phoenician commerce in the east, and the common 
date for its foundation is about a century before the foundation 
of Rome. The language of the colony continued to be Phoeni- 
cian, or (as the Romans called it) Punic ; * and the scanty re- 
mains of that language are sufficient to show its near affinity 
with Hebrew and its kindred tongues. In early times Carthage 
had assumed a leading position in the west of the Mediterranean. 
At the time of her fail, after the long and disastrous struggle 
with Rome, and the loss of all her empire, she still numbered a 
population of 700,000 within her walls ; and the circumference of 
these walls measured more than twenty miles. As her wealth 
and power increased, she had planted numerous colonies on the 
African coast. Three hundred Libyan cities are said to have 
paid her tribute ; and her dominion was gradually extended to 
the Pillars of Hercules on the one side, and nearly to the Great 
Syrtis on the other. The people of this wide district were ruled 
by Carthage with excessive rigour, being treated as mere tillers 
of the ground, subject to the payment of tribute, but not en- 
trusted with any political rights whatsoever. The result was 
that the presence of a foreign invader was always the signal for a 

* Phoenix became in old Latin Poenus. The adjective hence formed was 
Punicus, as munire from moenia, punire from poma. 


general insurrection, a fact which offers a remarkable point of 
contrast between the dominion of Rome in Italy and that of 
Carthage in Africa. 

The government was nominally entrusted to two elective 
magistrates, who bore the title of SufFets * or Presidents, and a 
Senate of three hundred. But all real power seems to have been 
absorbed by a smaller Council of One Hundred, self-elected, who 
held office for life. Before this narrow oligarchy all other 
powers grew dim, just as at Venice, after the thirteenth century, 
the Doges dwindled to a shadow before the secret despotism of 
the Council of Ten. 

The Carthaginians had little need of a strong military force 
in Africa. Their own citizens seem to have been trained to 
arms for home purposes, and an immense magazine of military 
stores was kept in Byrsa or Bosra,t the citadel. This force was 
probably sufficient to overawe the native Libyans, and to repress 
the incursions of the Numidians and other predatory tribes on 
their western side. But for foreign service they relied almost 
solely on mercenary troops. These they hired from Libya itself, 
Spain, Italy, Gaul, and Greece. The Balearic Isles supplied them 
with slingers. Their light cavalry, which in the hands of Hanni- 
bal proved a formidable force, was formed of wild Numidians, 
light, spare, hardy men, who had their horses so completely 
under command as to ride them without bit or rein. 

The officers in chief command of these motley forces were 
usually native Carthaginians, who seem to have been men chosen 
rather because of their devotion to the oligarchical families, 
than because of their aptness for command. When they failed, 
their merciless masters visited the failure by fine, imprisonment, 
or crucifixion. 

§ 4. It was by means of her fleets that Carthage was brought 
into connexion and collision with other countries. In early 
days she had established commercial settlements in the South of 
Spain and in Sicily. It was in the latter country that she 
came in contact first with the Greeks, and afterwards with the 
Romans. In early times the Carthaginians contented themselves 
with obtaining possession of three factories or trading-marts on 
the coast of Sicily — Panormus, Motye, and Lilybseum, which they 
fortified very strongly. But after the great overthrow of the 

* The Latin Suffes, plur. Suffetes, is the same as the Hebrew Shophet, plur. 
Shoftim, which in our Bible is translated Judges. 

f Bosra was the Phoenician name for a citadel. The Greeks called it Bip<xa. 
No doubt the meaning of this word gave rise to the legend that Dido bought as 
much land from the Libyans " as a hide would compass/' and then cheated them 
by cutting the hide into strips. 

Chap. XXIV. CARTHAGE. 205 

Athenian power by the Syracusans (413 B.C.), the Carthaginian 
Government formed the design of becoming .masters of this 
fertile and coveted island. Their first successes were checked by 
Dionysius the Tyrant of Syracuse, whose long reign of thirty- 
eight years (406 — 367 B.C.) comprises the time of Eome's great 
depression by the Gallic invasion, while the year of his death is 
coincident with that of the Licinian Laws, the era from which 
dates the constant advance of the great Italian city. After 
many vicissitudes he was obliged to conclude a peace by which 
the Biver Halycus was settled as the boundary between Grecian 
and Carthaginian Sicily, and the territory of Agrigentum was 
added to Syracusan rule (383 B.C.). 

In 317 B.C. Agathocles made himself King of Syracuse, and in 
310 B.C. the Carthaginians declared war against him. Reduced 
to great straits, he took the bold step of transporting the troops 
which remained for the defence of the capital into Africa, so as 
to avail himself of the known disaffection of the Libyan subjects 
of Carthage. His successes were marvellous. One of the Suffets 
fell in battle, the other acted as a traitor. All the Libyan sub- 
jects of Carthage supported the Sicilian monarch, but he was 
obliged to return to Sicily by an insurrection there. The re- 
mainder of his life was spent in vain attempts in Sicily, in 
Corcyra, and in Southern Italy. He died in 288 B.C., less than 
ten years before the appearance of Pyrrhus in Italy. 

After the death of Agathocles, the Carthaginians and Greeks 
of Sicily rested quiet till Pyrrhus undertook to expel the former 
from the island. The appearance of Carthaginian fleets off 
Ostia, and in the Gulf of Tarentum, roused the jealousy of the 
Italian Piepublic, and an opportunity only was wanting to give 
rise to open war between the two states. In the year 264 B.C. 
such an opportunity occurred. 

§ 5. The occupation of Messana by the Campanian Mercenaries 
of Agathocles, calling themselves Mamertines, has been noticed. 
From this place they became dangerous neighbours to Syracuse. 
A young man named Hiero, who had won distinction in the 
Sicilian campaigns of Pyrrhus, defeated these marauders at 
Centuripa, and was by his grateful compatriots proclaimed king 
about the year 271 B.C. In 264 B.C. the new King resolved to 
destroy this nest of robbers, and advanced against Messana with 
a force superior to any they could bring into the field against 
him. The Mamertines, in this peril, were divided : one party 
wished to call in the Carthaginians, another perferred alliance 
with Rome. The latter pre vailed,, and envoys were despatched 
to demand immediate aid. The Senate were well inclined to 
grant what was asked ; for .that Messana, a town with a good 


harbour, and separated from Italy by a narrow strait, should 
pass into the hands of Carthage, might have given alarm to a 
less watchful government. Yet shame restrained them. It was 
barely six years since Hiero had assisted them in punishing 
the Campanian legion which had seized Italian Rhegium, as the 
Mamertines had seized Sicilian Messana, and the Senate declined 
to entertain the question. But the Consuls, eager for military 
glory, brought the matter before the Centuriate Assembly, which 
straightway voted that support should be given to the Mamer- 
tines, or in other words, that the Carthaginians should not be 
allowed to gain possession of Messana. The Consul App. Clau- 
dius, son of the old Censor, was to command the army. 

§ 6. During this delay, however, the Carthaginian party among 
the Mamertines had prevailed, and Hanno, with a party of Car- 
thaginian soldiers, had been admitted into the town. But Ap- 
pius succeeded in landing his troops to the south of the town, 
and defeated Hiero with such loss, that the prudent King retired 
to Syracuse. Next day the Romans fell upon Hanno, and also 
defeated him. The Consul pursued his successes by plundering 
the Syracusan dominions up to the very gates of the city. 

§ 7. The Romans, having now set foot in Sicily, determined to 
declare war against Carthage. It is probable that the Senate, 
recollecting the rapid success of Pyrrhus, who in two years 
almost swept the Carthaginians out of the island, reckoned on a 
speedy conquest : else, after their late exhausting wars, they 
would hardly have engaged in this new and terrible conflict. 
But they were much deceived. The first Punic War, which 
began in 263 B.C., did not end till 241, having dragged out its 
tedious length for three-and-twenty years. The general history 
of it is most uninteresting. All the great men of Rome, who 
had waged her Italian wars with so much vigour and ability, were 
in their graves ; we hear no more of Decius, or Curius, or Fabri- 
cius ; and no worthy successors had arisen. The only men of 
note who appear on the Roman side are Duilius and Regulus. 
But the generals of Carthage are no less obscure. No one on 
their side is worthy of mention, except the great Hamilcar ; and 
he appears not till near the close of the war, and is to be men- 
tioned not so much for what he then did as for the promise of 
what he might do hereafter. 

Coin of a Livineius with head of Regulus. 


FIRST PUNIC WAR. (263 — 241 B.C.) 

§ 1. First Punic War divided into Three Periods. § 2. First Period. 
Success of Romans: sack of Agrigentum. § 3. Romans build a Fleet o/ 
Quinqueremes. § 4. Sail to the North of Sicily. § 5. Grappling-engines, 
called Corvi. § 6. Carthaginians defeated by Duillius off Mylse. § 7. 
Carthaginians lose greater part of Sicily. § 8. Second Period. Regulus 
and Manlius set sail for Africa : great victory at sea off Ecnomus. § 9. 
Army landed at Clupea, § 10. Romans advance to Carthage. Great 
defeat of Regulus by Xanthippus. § 11. Fleet entirely lost. § 12, Fresh 
Fleet built. Panormus taken. § 13. Second Fleet lost. Romans give up 
the Sea. § 14. Victory gained by Metellus at Panormus. § 15. Embassy 
and death of Regulus. § 16. Criticism of this event* § 17. Third 
Period. Third Fleet built. Siege of Lilybseum. §18. Headstrong folly 
of Claudius : part of Fleet destroyed at Drepanum, the rest by a storm off 
Camarina. § 19. Hamilcar. § 20. Fourth Fleet built. § 21. Battle of 
the iEgatian Isles. § 22. Terms of Peace with Carthago. § 23. Review 
of the War. Prospects. 

§ 1. To make the dreary length of this war more intelligible, it 
may conveniently be divided into three periods. The first com- 
prises its first seven years (263-257), during which the Eomans 
were uniformly successful, and at the close of which they had 
driven the Carthaginians to the south and west coasts of Sicily. 
The second is an anxious period of mingled success and failure, 
also lasting for seven years (256-250) : it begins with the invasion 
of Africa by Eegulus, and ends with his embassy and death. The 
third is a long and listless period of nine years (249-241), in which 
the Eomans slowly retrieve their losses, and at length conclude 
the war by a great victory at sea. 

§ 2. First Period (263-257).— The ill success of Hanno at 
Messana so displeased the Carthaginian government that they 
ordered the unfortunate general to be crucified. The Eomans 
pursued their first success with vigour. In the year 263 B.C. 


both the Consuls crossed over into Sicily with an army of nearly 
50 000 men. A number of the Sicilian towns declared in favour 
of the new power, which might (they hopdd) secure their inde- 
pendence against both Syracuse and Carthage ; for at present no 
one dreamed of a permanent occupation of the island by the 
Romans. Hiero, a prudent man, was struck by the energy of 
the new invaders. " They had conquered him," he said, " before 
he had had time to see them." He shrewdly calculated that the 
Carthaginians would prove inferior in the struggle, and forthwith 
concluded a treaty of alliance with Borne, by which he was left 
in undisturbed possession of a small but fertile region lying round 
Syracuse ; some more remote towns, as Tauromenium, being also 
subject to his sceptre. From this time forth to the time of his 
death, a period of forty-seven years, he remained a useful ally of 
the Roman people. In 262 b.c both Consuls laid siege to the 
city of Agrigentum, which, though fallen from her ancient splen- 
dour, was still the second of the Hellenic communities in Sicily. 
Another Hanno was sent from Carthage to raise the siege, and 
for some time fortune favoured him. He drew a second circle 
of entrenchments round the Roman lines, so as to intercept all 
supplies; and thus the besiegers, being themselves besieged, 
were reduced to the greatest straits. But the Consul at length 
forced Hanno to give him battle, and gained a complete victory. 
Upon this the commandant of the garrison, finding further de- 
fence useless, slipped out of Agrigentum by night, and deserted 
the hapless city after a siege of seven months. The Romans 
repaid themselves for the miseries they had undergone by in- 
dulging in all those excesses which soldiers are wont to commit 
when they take a town by storm after a long and obstinate de- 
fence. It is said that 25,000 men were slain. 

§ 3. This great success raised the spirits of the Romans. And 
now the Senate conceived the hope and formed the plan of ex- 
pelling the Carthaginians entirely from Sicily : but after a short 
experience, .that sagacious Council became aware that a fleet was 
indispensable for success. Nothing show r s the courage and 
resolution of the Romans more than their manner of acting in 
this matter. It is no light matter for landsmen to become sea- 
men ; but for unpractised landsmen to think of encountering 
the most skilful seamen then known might have been deemed a 
piece of romantic absurdity, if the men of Rome had not under- 
taken and accomplished it. 

What they wanted first was a navy, which, in size at least and 
weight of ships, should be a match for those of the enemy. It 
is a mistake to suppose that the Romans had no fleet before this 
time. The treaties with Carthage sufficiently prove the con- 


trary ; and on several occasions we hear of ships being employed 
by them. But these ships were of the trireme kind, formerly 
employed by the Greeks. The Carthaginians, like the Greeks 
after Alexander/used quinqueremes ; and it would have been as 
absurd for the small Roman ships to have encountered those 
heavier vessels, as for a frigate to cope with a three-decker. The 
Romans therefore determined to build quinqueremes. A Car- 
thaginian ship cast ashore on the coast of Bruttii served as a 
model ; the forest of Sila, in that district, supplied timber. In 
sixty days from the time the trees were felled they had completed, 
probably by the help of Greek artisans, a fleet of one hundred 
quinqueremes and twenty triremes ; and while it was building, 
they trained men to row in a manner which to us seems laugh- 
able, by placing them on scaffolds ranged on land in the same way 
as the benches in the ships. (260 B.C.) 

§ 4. The Consul Cm Cornelius put to sea first with seventeen 
ships, leaving the rest of the fleet to follow ; but he was sur- 
prised near Lipara and captured, with the whole of his little 
squadron, by the Carthaginian admiral. His plebeian colleague, 
C. Duilius, was in command of the army in Sicily ; but as soon 
as he heard of this disaster, he hastened to take charge of the 
main body of the fleet., and sailed slowly along the north coast 
of Sicily. 

§ 5. Meantime, the Roman shipwrights had contrived certain 
engines, by means of which their seamen might grapple with the 
enemy's ships, so as to bring them to close quarters and deprive 
them of the superiority derived from their better construction 
and the greater skill of their crews. These engines were called 
crows (corvi). They consisted of a gangway 36 feet long and 
4 broad, pierced with an oblong hole towards one end, so as 
to play freely round a strong pole 24 feet high, which was fixed 
near the ship's prow. At the other end was attached a strong 
rope, which passed over a sheaf at the head of the pole. By this 
rope the gangway was kept hauled up till within reach of the 
enemy's ship : it was then suddenly let go, and as it fell with all 
its weight, a strong spike on its under side (shaped like a crow's 
beak) was driven into the enemy's deck. Then the Roman men- 
at-arms poured along the gangway, and a stand-up fight followed, 
in which the best soldiers must prevail. 

§ 6. Thus prepared, Duilius encountered the enemy's fleet. 
He found them ravaging the coast at Mylao, a little to the west 
of Palermo. The admiral was the same person who had com- 
manded the garrison of Agrigentum, and was carried in an 
enormous septireme, which had formerly belonged to Pyrrhus. 
Nothing daunted, Duilius attacked without delay. By his rude 


assault the skilful tactics of the Carthaginian seamen were con- 
founded. The Roman fighting-men were very numerous, and 
when they had once boarded an enemy's ship, easily made them- 
selves masters of her. Duilius took thirty-one Carthaginian 
ships and sunk fourteen. For a season, no Roman name stood 
so high as that of Duilius. Public honours were awarded him ; 
he was to be escorted home at night from banquets and festivals 
by the light of torches and the music of the flute ; a pillar was 
set up in the Forum, ornamented with the beaks of the captured 
ships, and therefore called the Columna Rostrata, to commemorate 
the great event ; fragments of the inscription still remain in the 
Capitoline Museum at Rome. And no doubt the triumph was 
signal. The honours conferred upon the conqueror cannot but 
give a pleasing impression of the simple manners then prevailing 
at Rome, especially when we contrast them with the cruelty of 
the Carthaginian Government, who crucified their unfortunate 
admiral. To have defeated the Mistress of the Sea upon her 
own element in the first trial of strength was indeed remarkable. 

§ 7. The sea-fight of Duilius was fought in the year 260 B.C. 
In the following yeai's the Carthaginians were only able to act 
upon the defensive. Not only Agrigentum, but Camarina, Ge]a, 
Enna, Egesta, and many other cities had surrendered to the 
Romans, The Carthaginians were confined to their great trading 
marts, Drepana, Lilybasum, Eryx, and Panormus. They did not 
dare to meet the Romans in the field ; yet these places were 
very strong, especially Lilybseum. Against its iron fortifications 
all the strength of Pyrrhus had been broken. It was not time 
yet for Carthage to despair. 

But in the eighth year of the war the Senate determined on 
more decisive measures. They knew the weakness of the Car- 
thaginians at home; they had a victorious fleet, and they de- 
termined not to let their fortune slumber. 

§ 8. Second Period (256-250 B.C.). — Duilius appears for a 
brief time as the hero of the first part of the war ; but its second 
period is marked by the name of a man who has become famous 
as a patriot, — M. Atilius Regulus. It was in the year 256, the 
eighth of the war, that the Consuls, M. Regulus and L. Manlius, 
sailed from Italy and doubled Cape Pachynum with a fleet of 330 
quinqueremes. The Carthaginian fleet, even larger in number, 
had been stationed at Lilybaeum to meet the enemy, whether 
they should approach from the north or from the east. They 
now put to sea, and sailed westward along the southern coast of 
Sicily. They met the Roman fleet at a place called Ecnornus, a 
little more than half way along that coast. The battle that 
ensued was the greatest that, up to that time, had ever been 


fought at sea : it is calculated that not fewer than 300,000 men 
were engaged. It Was desperately contested on both sides ; but 
at Ecnomus, again, we are astonished to find the Eoman fleet 

§ 9. The way was now open to Africa. The Consuls, after 
refitting and provisioning their fleet, sailed straight across to 
the Hermsean Promontory, which is distant from the nearest 
point of Sicily not more than eighty miles. But the omens 
were not auspicious ; the Roman soldiery went on board with 
gloomy forebodings of their fate ; one of the tribunes refused to 
lead his legionaries iato the ships, till Regulus ordered the lictors 
to seize him. The passage, however, was favoured by the wind. 
The Consuls landed their men, drew up the fleet on shore, and 
fortified it in a naval camp ; and then, marching southward, they 
took the city of Aspis or Clupea by assault. No Carthaginian 
army met them : every place they came near, except Utica, sur- 
rendered at discretion, for they were unfortified and defenceless. 
Carthage, being of old mistress of the sea, feared no invaders, 
and, like England, trusted for defence to her wooden walls. Yet 
she had not been unwarned. Sixty years before the adventurous 
Agathocles had landed like Regulus. Then, as now, the whole 
country lay like a garden before him, covered with wealthy towns 
and the luxurious villas of the Carthaginian merchants. Then 
two hundred towns or more had surrendered almost without 
stroke of sword. It appeared as if the same easy success now 
awaited Regulus and the Romans. 

§ 10. The Consuls were advancing along the coast of the gulf 
towards Carthage, when Manlius was recalled with the greater 
part of the army, and Regulus was left in Africa as Proconsul (255 
B.C.) with only 15,000 foot and 500 horse. Yet even with this 
small force he remained master of the country. He had gone 
round the whole Gulf of Tunis as far as Utica, and now he turned 
upon his steps with the intention of marching upon the capital 
itself. On his way he was obliged to cross the river Bagradas, and 
here (so ran the legend) the army was stopped by a huge serpent, 
so strong and tough of skin that they were unable to destroy it, 
till they brought up their artillery and catapults and balists : he 
then continued his route southwards to the Bay of Carthage. He 
was allowed to take Tunis, which stood within twenty miles of 
Carthage, The great city was now reduced to the utmost straits. 
A Roman army was encamped within sight ; the Numidians took 
advantage of the enemy's presence to overrun and plunder the 
whole country ; famine stared the townsmen in the face ; the 
Government trembled. In this abject condition the Council 
sent an embassy to ask what terms of peace Regulus would 


grant. The Consul was so elated by success, that he demanded 
the most extravagant concessions. The Carthaginians were to 
give up their fleet, pay all the expenses of the war, and cede all 
Sicily, with Sardinia, Corsica, and the Balearic Isles, to Rome. 
When these terms were reported, the Government took care to 
publish them, and public indignation rose against the arrogant 
invaders. The civic force was not untrained to arms, and they 
had now to fight for their hearths and altars. A good general 
was sought for. At that time there happened to be at Carthage 
a soldier of fortune, by name Xanthippus, a Lacedaemonian. 
This man had been heard to censure the native generals, and to 
declare that the victories of the Romans were due, not to their 
own superior skill, but to the faults of their opponents. He was 
summoned before the Council and desired to give reasons for his 
remarks. He did so : and, for a moment, the Government, dis- 
missing all jealousy, appointed this obscure foreigner general-in- 
chief. Xanthippus immediately drew together all the mercena- 
ries he could find, and united them with the armed citizens ; 
then, supported by a large body of elephants, he boldly, took the 
field. The Romans were astonished ; but they were too much 
accustomed to victory to hesitate about accepting battle. But 
they were both outnumbered and outgeneraled. Xanthippus 
gained a victory as easy as it was complete. Regulus himself 
was taken prisoner ; only 2000 of his men suceeeded in making 
good their retreat to Clupea. 

Thus was Carthage delivered by the ability of one man, and 
that man a foreigner. The Government did not improve in wis- 
dom or generosity ; their incapable generals resumed the com- 
mand, and Xanthippus, loaded with honours and presents, pru- 
dently withdrew from the jealous city. 

§11. The Roman Senate did their best to repair this great 
calamity. The new Consuls were ordered to put to sea, and 
bring off the garrison and fugitives from Clupea. Near the Her- 
msean Promontory they encountered the enemy's fleet, and again 
defeated it ; and then, having taken up the ships and men at 
Clupea, they sailed for Syracuse. But a still greater disaster was 
in store for Rome than the destruction of her African army. 
This was the loss of that fleet of which she was justly proud. 
The time of year was about the beginning of the dog-days, when 
the Mediterranean is apt to be visited by sudden storms. The 
Consuls, upon their passage, were warned that such a storm was 
at hand ; but they were ignorant and rash, and continued their 
course. Before they could double Cape Pachynum they were 
caught by the tempest ; almost the whole fleet was wrecked or 
foundered ; the coast of Sicily from Camarina to Pachynum was 


strewed with fragments of ships and bodies of men. Such was 
the end of the first Eoraan fleet. 

§ 12. These successive disasters might well raise the hopes of 
Carthage, and they sent a considerable force into Sicily, with 140 
elephants. Agrigentum is said to have been recovered, and no 
doubt it was expected that the whole island would once more 
become their own. But the Romans showed a spirit equal to 
the need. In three months' time (so wonderful was their 
energy) a new fleet of 220 sail was ready for sea; and the Consuls 
of the year (254 B.C.), having touched at Messana to take up the 
remnants of the old fleet, passed outward to Drepana. They 
could not take this strong place, but they- were more successful 
at Panormus, the modern Palermo, which yielded after a short 
siege to the Rofrian arms. This was an important conquest. 

§ 13. Next year the fleet touched at several places on the 
African coast, but without making any impression on the coun- 
try. Among the shoals and currents of the Lesser Syrtis it ran 
great danger of being lost ; but having escaped this peril, the 
Consuls returned to Panormus and thence stood straight across 
for the mouth of the Tiber. On the passage they were over- 
taken by another of those terrible storms, and again nearly the 
whole fleet was lost. Thus, within three years, the Eomans lost 
two great fleets. This was enough to damp even their courage ; 
and the Senate determined to try whether it were not possible 
to keep their ground in Sicily without a navy. For the present 
they gave up all claim to the command of the sea, and limited 
themselves to a small fleet of sixty ships. 

§ 14. Matters continued in this state for two years. Neither 
party seemed willing to hazard a battle by land ; but in 250 B.C. 
Hasdrubal, the Carthaginian general, was induced to march 
secretly from Lilybseum to Panormus, in the hope of surprising 
and recovering that important town. The Roman commandant 
was the Proconsul L. Csecilius Metellus. He allowed the enemy 
to approach the walls, and then suddenly sallied forth, covering 
his attack by a cloud of light troops, slingers, and javelin-men. 
Some of the elephants being wounded, carried confusion into 
their own ranks, and Metellus, seizing the occasion, charged the 
enemy and defeated them utterly. Besides 13 Carthaginian 
generals, 120 elephants were taken and carried across the sea on 
strong rafts to adorn the triumph of the Proconsul. The Battle 
of Panormus was the greatest battle that was fought on land in 
the course of the war, and it was the last. In memory of this 
victory we find the elephant as a frequent device on the coins of 
the great family of the Metelli.* 

* See a coin of Metellus Scipio figured at the end of this chapter. 


§ 15. After the battle of Panormus, the hopes of the Romans 
ix>se again, and the Senate gave orders to build a third fleet of 
200 sail. But the Carthaginians, weary of the expenses of the 
war, and suffering greatly in their commerce, thought that a fair 
opportunity for making peace was now offered. The Romans 
had not so entirely recovered from their late disasters, but that 
they might be glad to listen to fair terms. Accordingly an em- 
bassy was despatched to offer an exchange of prisoners and to 
propose terms on which a peace might be concluded. Regulus 
(according to the well-known story) accompanied this embassy, 
under promise to return to Carthage if the purposes of the em- 
bassy should fail. When he arrived at Rome he refused to enter 
the walls and take his place in the Senate, as being no longer a 
citizen or a senator. Then the Senate sent certain of their own 
number to confer with him in presence of the ambassadors, and 
the counsel which he gave confirmed the wavering minds of the 
fathers. " Useless it was," he said, " to ransom prisoners who 
had ignobly yielded with arms in their hands : let them be left 
to perish unheeded ; let war go on till Carthage be subdued." 
His counsel prevailed, and the embassy returned without effect. 
Regulus also returned to suffer the vengeance of the Cartha- 
ginians. Every one knows the horrid tortures by which it is 
said that life was taken from him ; how his eyelids were cut off; 
how he was placed in a barrel stuck full of nails, with one end 
knocked out ; and how he was exposed to the unmitigated glare 
of an African sun, to die by the slow agonies of pain, and thirst, 
and fever. 

§ 16. Regulus was a man of the old Roman kind, like Curius 
and Fabricius, devoted to his country, eager for glory, frugal, 
bold, resolute or (call it) stubborn. He has been censured for 
excessive presumptuousness in his African campaign, and for 
the extravagance by which he lost all the advantages which he 
might have secured. But it must be allowed that he had some 
grounds even for overweening confidence. Ever since the two 
nations had met in arms, the star of Carthage had grown dim 
before that of Rome. Even on the sea, where her navies had 
long ridden triumphant, the Queen of the Mediterranean had 
twice been beaten by her unskilled rival. There was enough to 
make more sagacious men than Regulus believe that Carthage 
was well nigh powerless against Rome. The Romans had yet to 
learn that when the jealous government of Carthage allowed 
great generals to command their armies, such as Xanthippus, 
and Hamilcar, and Hannibal, then the well-trained mercenaries 
might gain easy victories over their own brave but less practised 
citizens. The whole story of the embassy and death of Regulus 


has been doubted, chiefly because of the silence of Polybius, the 
most authentic historian of the time ; and from the certainty 
that at least one mythical marvel has been introduced into the 
narrative. But if allowance be made for some patriotic exagge- 
ration, there is nothing improbable in the story. Those who 
crucified their own unlucky generals would not be slow to wreak 
any measure of vengeance on a recusant prisoner. We read also 
that the Eomans retaliated by torturing some Carthaginian pri- 
soners, and this fact can hardly be an invention. At all events, 
the personal qualities of Eegulus rest too firmly on old tradition 
to be questioned. While we read the beautiful passage in which 
O ; k cero describes his disinterested patriotism ; * while we repeat 
the noble Ode, in which Horace paints him as putting aside all 
who would have persuaded him to stay — people, friends, and 
family, — and going forth to torture and death with the same 
serene indifference as if he were leaving the busy life of Eome 
for the calm retirement of his country house ; f — so long will the 
blood flow more quickly and the heart beat higher at mention of 
the name of Eegulus. 

§ 17. Third Period (249-241). — It has been said that the 
Senate, encouraged by the victory of Panormus, resolved once 
more to attempt the sea. In the year 249 B.C. the third fleet 
was ready, and its purpose soon became evident. The Consuls 
were ordered to invest Lilybseum, the queen of Carthaginian 
fortresses, both by sea and land. If this strong place fell, the 
Carthaginians would have no firm hold on Sicily : but it Gould 
not be taken unless it were blockaded by sea, for by sea supplies 
could be poured into it from Carthage, The Eomans began the 
siege with activity ; they constructed enormous works, they en- 
deavoured to throw a dam across the harbour, but in vain. The 
skilful seamen of Carthage contrived to carry provision-ships 
into the harbour through the midst of the Eoman fleet. Their 
navy lay at hand in the Bay of Drepana ready to take advantage 
of any remissness on the part of the Eomans. 

§ 18. Yet the invincible perseverance of the Eomans would 
have prevailed but for the headstrong folly of the ' Patrician 
Consul for the year 249 b.c. This was P. Claudius, a younger 
son of the old Censor, brother of him who had relieved Messana. 
As he lay before Lilybasum, he formed a plan for surprising the 
enemy's fleet at Drepana, and left his station for this purpose. 
In vain he was warned by the Pulliarii, that the sacred chickens 
would not feed. "Then let them drink/' said the irreverent 
commander, and threw them into the sea. But the men were 
much ^dispirited by the omen and the contempt of the omen. 

* De Officiis, iii. 27. f Carm., iii. 5. 


And the Consul had managed matters with so little secrecy and 
skill, that the enemy were informed of his intended attack. As 
the Romans sailed in column into the harbour, the Carthaginian 
fleet was seen sailing outward. But on a sudden they tacked 
and bore down upon the side of the Roman column. Of Clau- 
dius 5 two hundred and twenty ships, only thirty escaped. The 
reckless Consul was recalled to Rome by the Senate, and ordered 
to supersede himself by naming a Dictator. With the old inso- 
lence of his family, he named the son of one of his own freed- 
men, by name Claudius Glycias. But the Senate set aside the 
nomination, and themselves appointed A. Atilius Calatinus, also 
called Serramis. What became of Claudius we know not. But 
he was dead three years after : for a story is preserved, that at 
that time his sister insolently expressed a wish that he were still 
alive, that he might lose more men, and make the streets less 
crowded. She was heavily fined for this speech; and if words 
deserve punishment, none deserved it more than hers. 

The loss of the fleet of Claudius was not the only disaster of 
the year. L. Junius, his Plebeian colleague, was less guilty, but 
even more unfortunate. He was convoying a large fleet of ships, 
.freighted with supplies for the forces at Lilybseurn, when, near 
Camarina, he was overtaken by a tremendous hurricane, and 
both the convoy and the convoying squadron perished. The 
destruction was so complete, that every single ship was broken 
up, and not a plank (says Polybius) was fit to be used again. 

Thus by the folly of one Consul and the misfortune of the 
other, the Romans lost their entire fleet for the third time. It 
seemed to them as if the god of the sea was jealous of these new 
pretenders to his favour. 

§ 19. These disasters left the Carthaginians once more masters 
of the sea. And at the same time a really great man was ap- 
pointed to a command in Sicily. This was Hamilcar Barca,* the 
father of Hannibal. He seems not to have had many ships or 
troops at his command ; but the skill with whjch he used his 
means abundantly shows what might have been done if the. go- 
vernment had trusted him more completely. He made continual 
descents on the coast of Italy, plundering and alarming. Before 
long he landed suddenly near Panormus, and in the face of the 
Roman commandant seized a hill called Hercte which overhung 
the town (the same with the modern Monte Pelegrino). Here he 
fortified himself ; and hence he carried on a continual predatory 
warfare against the Romans for the space of three years. After 
this, by an equally sudden movement, he made a descent on 
Eryx, which had been taken by the Romans not long beftfre, and 

* Barca = Hebr. bardq, lightning. So Barce is the nurse of the Phoenician 
Syehceus, Virg. Aen. iv. 632, 


surprised it. To this place he now shifted his quarters, and 
continued the same harassing attacks for the remaining years of 
the war. 

Except for this, matters were at a stand still. The whole 
strength of the Eomans was concentrated in the lines of Lily- 
baeum ; but they had no fleet now, and therefore the place was 
fully supplied from the sea. On the other hand the activity of 
Hamilcar kept the enemy always in alarm. Slight actions con- 
stantly took place ; and an anecdote is told by Diodorus, which 
sets the character of Hamilcar in a pleasing light. In a skirmish 
with the Roman Consul, C. Fundanius, he had suffered some loss, 
and sent (according to custom) to demand a truce, that he might 
bury his dead. But the Consul insolently replied, that he ought 
to concern himself about the living rather than the dead, and 
save further bloodshed by surrendering at once. Soon after it 
was Hamilcar's turn to defeat the Romans, and when their com- 
mander sent for leave to bury their dead, the Carthaginian 
General at once granted it, saying that he " warred not with the 
dead, but with the living." * 

§ 20. These interminable hostilities convinced the Senate that 
they must once more build a fleet, or give up all hopes of driving 
the Carthaginians out of Sicily. Lilybseum would foil all their 
efforts, as it had foiled the efforts of Pyrrhus. The siege had 
now lasted eight years, and it appeared no nearer its conclusion 
than at first. All sacrifices must be made. A fleet must be 
built. And it was built. At the beginning of the year 241 B.C. 
the Patrician Consul, Q. Lutatius Catulus, put to sea with more 
than 200 sail 

This was the fourth navy which the Romans had created. It 
is impossible not to admire this iron determination ; impossible 
not to feel satisfaction at seeing it rewarded. 

§ 21. The Consul, with his new fleet, sailed early in the year, 
and blockaded Drepana by sea and land, hoping to deprive the 
Carthaginians of the harbour in which their fleet lay to watch 
the Romans at Lilybseuni. He also took great pains to train his 
seamen in naval tactics. In an action w T hich took place at Dre- 
pana he was severely wounded. 

On the other hand the Carthaginians had of late neglected 
their navy ; and it was not till early in the following year (241) 
that a fleet was despatched to the relief of Drepana. It was 
heavily freighted with provisions and stores. Hanno, its com- 
mander, touched at Hiera, a small island, about twenty or 
twenty-five miles from the port of Drepana. Of this (it ap- 
pears) Catulus was informed, and, though still suffering from 

* " Nullum cum victis certamen et sethere cassis." — Virg., JEn. xi. 105. 


his wound, he at once put to sea, hoping to intercept the enemy 
before they unloaded their ships. On the evening of the 9th of 
March he lay to at /Egusa, another small island, not above ten 
miles distant from Hiera. Next morning the Carthaginians put 
to sea and endeavoured to run into Drepana. But they were 
intercepted by the Roman fleet, and obliged to give battle. 
They fought under great disadvantages, and the Romans gained 
an easy victory. Fifty of the enemy's ships were sunk, seventy 
taken ; the rest escaped to Hiera. 

§ 22. This battle, called the battle of the iEgatian islands (for 
that was the general name of the group), decided the war. It 
was plain that Lilybanim must now surrender ; and that though 
Hamilcar might yet stand at bay, he could not recover Sicily for 
the present. The merchants of Carthage were eager for the 
conclusion of the war ; and the government sent orders to 
Hamilcar to make a peace on the best terms he could obtain. 
Catulus at first required, as a preliminary to all negotiations, 
that Hamilcar should lay down his arms, and give up all Roman 
deserters in his service. But when the Carthaginian disdain- 
fully refused this condition, the Consul prudently waived it, and 
a treaty was finally agreed on by the two commanders to the 
following effect : — that the Carthaginians should evacuate 
Sicily ; should give up all Roman prisoners without ransom ; 
and should pay 2,200 talents in twenty years towards the ex- 
penses of the war. But the Roman Tribes refused to ratify the 
treaty without inquiry. Accordingly the Senate sent over ten 
envoys, who confirmed the treaty of Catulus, except that they 
raised the sum to 3,200 talents, and required this larger sum to 
be paid in ten years, instead of twenty. They also insisted on 
the cession of all the small islands between Italy and Sicily. 

§ 23. Thus ended the first Punic War. The issue of this long 
struggle was altogether in favour of Rome. She had performed 
few brilliant exploits ; she had sent few eminent men to conduct 
the war ; but she had done great things. She had beaten the 
Mistress of the Sea upon her own element. She had gained 
possession of an island nearly twice as large as Yorkshire, and 
fertile beyond the example of other lauds. Her losses, indeed, 
had been enormous ; for she had lost 700 ships, a vast number 
of men, and large sums of money. But Carthage had suffered 
still more. For though she had lost not more than 500 ships, 
yet the interruption to her trade, and the ]oss of her great 
commercial emporiums of Lilybseum and Drepana, not only 
crippled the resources of the State, but largely diminished the 
fortunes of individual citizens. The Romans and Italians, who 
fought in this war, were mostly agricultural ; and the losses of 

Chap. XXV. 



such a people are small, and soon repaired, while those suffered 
by a great commercial state are often irreparable. 

This war was only the prelude to a more fierce and deadly 
contest. Carthage had withdrawn discomfited from Sicily, and 
her empty treasury and ruined trade forbade her to continue the 
conflict at that time. But it was not yet decided whether Rome 
or Carthage was to rule the coasts of the Mediterranean. The 
great Hamilcar left Eryx without despair. He foresaw that by 
patience and prudence he might shake off the control of his 
jealous Government, and train up an army in his own interest, 
with which he might defy the Roman legions. 

Coin of Metellus Scipio, referring to Battle of Panorinus. 


Temple of Janus closed, on a Coin of Nero. 



§ I. The Mercenary War at Carthage, finished by Hamilcar. § 2. Un* 
generous conduct of Rome. § 3. Hamilcar goes to Spain. § 4. Affairs of 
Rome: Temple of Janus closed : number of Tribes completed. § 5. Illyrian 
War: Piratical tribes of Illyrian coasts Queen Teuta murders a Roman 
Envoy. § 6. Demetrius of Pharos, Teuta's governor of Corey ra, trea- 
cherousty joins Rome : Teuta submits. § 7. Honour paid to Romans in 
Greece. § 8. Gallic War: Gauls provoked to war by proposal of Fla- 
minius to plant settlements in Picenum and Umbria. § 9. Great defeat of 
Gauls at Telamon in Etruria. § 10. Invasion of TranspadaneGaul. § lie 
Marcellus wins spolia opima. § 12. Colonies at Placentia and Cremona. 
§ 13. Revolt of Demetrius of Pharos, subdued by iEmilius Paullus. 
§ 14. Hamilcar's operations in Spain : Hannibal's oath. § 15. Hasdrubal 
commands in Spain. § 16. Hannibal elected commander: his operations. 
§ 17. Siege of Saguntum. § 18. Roman embassy at Carthage: war 
declared. §19. Character of Hannibal. 

§ 1. The first Punic War lasted tkree-and-twenty years ; and the 
interval between the end of this war and the beginning of the 
next was of nearly the same duration. In the course of this 
period (from 240 to 218 B.a) both Eome and Carthage, notwith- 
standing their exhausted condition, were involved in perilous 
wars. In the next three years Carthage was brought to the 
very brink of destruction by a general mutiny of her mercenary 
troops, which had been employed in Sicily, and were now to be 
disbanded. Their leaders were Spendius, a runaway Campanian 
slave, who feared to be given up to the Eomans ; and Matho, a 
Libyan, who had been too forward in urging the demands of the 


army for their pay, to hope for forgiveness from the Cartha- 
ginian Government. . Led on by these desperadoes, the soldiers 
gave a full loose to their ferocity ; they seized Cisgo, who had 
been sent to treat with them, as a hostage ; plundered the 
country round about ; raised the subject Africans in rebellion ; 
besieged the fortified towns of Utica and Hippo ; and cut oft 
all communication by land with the promontory upon which 
Carthage stands. At the end of the second year, however, 
Hamilcar, being invested with the command of the civic forces, 
reduced Spendius to such extremities, that he surrendered at 
discretion, and compelled Matho to shut himself up in Tunis. 

The spirit of the insurgents was now quite broken, and they 
would fain have given in. But Matho and his officers were 
fighting with halters round their necks, and whenever any one 
attempted to persuade peaceful measures, a knot of the more 
violent cried him down; and thus, as usually happens in popular 
commotions, the real wishes of the greater part were drowned in 
the loud vociferations of a few bold and resolute desperadoes. 
What made the task of these men easier, was that the army was 
composed of. a great many different nations ; and the soldiers, 
not being able to understand one another, could not so readily 
combine against their leaders. Almost the only word which 
was understood by all, was the terrible cry of " Stone him, stone 
him!" which was raised by the leading insurgents, whenever 
any one rose to advocate peace^ t and was re-echoed by the 
mass in ignorance or fear. But Hamilcar maintained a strict 
blockade, and the insurgents in Tunis were reduced to such 
extremities of famine, that Matho was obliged to risk a battle. 
He was utterly defeated, taken prisoner, and put to death. 
Thus terminated this terrible war, which had lasted more than 
three years and four months, and at one time threatened the 
very existence of Carthage. It was known by the name of the 
War Without Truce, or the Inexpiable War.* 

§ 2. The forbearance shown by the Romans to Carthage 
during this fearful war makes their conduct at its close the 
more surprising. The mercenary troops in Sardinia had muti- 
nied after the example of their brethren, and had taken pos- 
session of the island. After the close of the war in Africa these 
insurgents, fearing that their turn was come, put themselves 
under Roman protection ; and their prayer for aid, like that of 
the Mamertines, was granted. The Senate had the effrontery 
not only to demand the cession of Sardinia and Corsica, but also 
the payment of a further sum of 1200 talents. The Cartha- 
ginians were too weak to refuse : not even Hamilcar could have 


counselled them to do so. But this ungenerous conduct strength- 
ened Hamilcar's grim resolve, to take full vengeance on the 
grasping Italian Republic. 

§ 3. To execute this resolve it was necessary for him to obtain 
an independent authority, so as to form armies and carry on 
campaigns, without being fettered by the orders of the narrow- 
minded government. And now seemed the time to obtain this 
authority. Hanno and the leading members of the council had 
long been jealous of the family of Barca, of which" Hamilcar 
was the chief. Hamilcar's fame and popularity were now so 
high, that it was possible he might overthrow the power of the 
Council of One Hundred. It was, therefore, with pleasure that 
they received his proposal to reduce Spain under the Cartha- 
ginian power. Carthage already had settlements in the south of 
Spain, and the old trading city of Gades was in alliance with 
her. But the rest of the country was peopled by wild and 
savage tribes, who could not be conquered in a day. No doubt 
the government of Carthage saw the departure of Hamilcar 
for Spain with as much inward satisfaction as the French 
Directory in 1798 witnessed the departure of Napoleon for 
Egypt. If he succeeded, he would at least be far distant, and 
long absent ; if he failed, they would be rid of one whom they 
feared and hated. But, before we trace the consequences of this 
extension of Carthaginian power in Spain, the affairs of Rome 
and Italy claim our attention. 

§ 4. During the Mercenary War in Africa, the Romans had 
remained at peace ; and so profound was the general tranquil- 
lity in the year 235 B.C., that the temple of Janus was closed by 
the Consul Manlius Torquatus, for the first time (say the annals) 
since the reign of Numa. In the last year of the first Punic 
war, the lower Sabine country had been formed into two Tribes, 
the Veline and the Quirine. Thus the number of thirty-five was 
completed, and no addition was hereafter made to the Roman 

§ 5. This tranquillity was of no long duration. The success of 
their arms in Sicily, and their newly acquired maritime power, 
encouraged the Romans to cross the Adriatic not so much for 
the purpose of advancing their own dominion as to render a 
service to all who frequented these seas for the purposes of 
traffic, The far side of the Adriatic, then called Illyria, consists 
of a narrow ledge of coast-land backed by parallel mountain- 
chains. Many islands appear off the shore, and several large 
creeks afford safe anchorage for ships. These natural advan- 
tages made the Illyrians of the coast skilful seamen. Their 


light barks (lembi) * issued from behind the islands or out of the 
creeks, and practised piracy on their neighbours. Their main 
stronghold was Scodra (Scutari). Teuta, a woman of bold and 
masculine spirit, became chief of this piratical race during the 
infancy of her son Pinnes, and soon made herself supreme over 
all the islands except Issa, which she blockaded in person in that 
year. The Senate had not hitherto found leisure to check the 
progress of these pirates. But in the year 229 B.C. they sent 
C. and L. Coruncanius as Envoys to remonstrate with Teuta. 
But Teuta was little disposed to listen to remonstrance. " It 
was not," she said, customary for the chiefs of Illyria to prevent 
their subjects from making use of the sea." The younger Corun- 
canius, indignant at this avowal of national piracy, replied that 
" if such were the institutions of the Illyrians/' the Romans would 
lose no time in helping her to mend them." Exasperated by 
this sarcasm, Teuta ordered the Envoys to be pursued and the 
younger one to be put to death. The Romans at once declared, 
war against the Illyrians. 

§ 6. After the surrender of Issa, the Illyrian Queen pursued 
her success by the capture not only of Dyrrhachium, but also 
of Corcyra; and Demetrius, a clever and unscrupulous Greek 
of Pharos (a place on the coast of Upper Illyria), the chief coun- 
sellor of Teuta, was made Governor of this famous island. The 
Epirotes now sent ambassadors to crave protection from Rome ; 
and the Senate gladly took advantage of this opening. Early in 
the next spring both Consuls appeared at Corcyra with a pow- 
erful fleet and army. Demetrius quickly discerned to which 
side fortune would incline, and surrendered Corcyra to the 
Romans without a blow. This treachery paralysed Teuta's 
spirit ; and Demetrius enabled the Roman commanders to over- 
power her forces with little trouble. She was obliged to. sur- 
render the greater part of her dominions to the traitor, who now 
became Chief of Corcyra and Southern Illyria, under the pro- 
tection of Rome. The Illyrians were not to appear south of 
Lissus with more than two barks at a time. 

§ 7. The suppression of Illyrian piracy was even more advan- 
tageous to the commerce of Greece than that of Rome. The 
leading men of the Senate began, even at this time, to show a 
strong disposition to win the good opinion of the Greeks, who, 

* The Illyrian seamen long continued the use of these light vessels. The 
Liburnian galleys used by Augustus at Actium were from these coasts. 
Therefore Horace (Epod. i. 1) says to Maecenas, 

'* Ibis Liburnis inter alta n avium, 
Amice, propngnacula." 


degenerate as they were, were still held to be the centre of civili- 
sation and the dispensers of fame. Postumius the Consul, there- 
fore, sent envoys to various Greek states to explain the appearance 
of a Roman force in those quarters. They were received with 
high distinction. The Athenians and Corinthians, especially, 
paid honour to Rome, and recognised her Greek descent, the 
former by admitting her citizens to the Eleusinian Mysteries, 
the latter by voting that they might be present at the Isthmian 
games (228 B.C.). 

§ 8. This short war was scarcely ended, when Rome saw a 
conflict impending, which filled them with alarm. 

It will be remembered that just before the war with Pyrrhus, 
the Senonian Gauls had been extirpated, and the Boians defeated 
with great slaughter in two battles near the lake Vadimo in 
Etruria (283 B.C.).* From that time the Gauls had remained 
quiet within their own boundaries. But in 232 B.C., the Tri- 
bune C. Flaminius, a man who will hereafter claim more special 
notice, proposed to distribute all the Public Land held by Rome 
on the Picenian and Umbrian coasts to a number of poor citi- 
zens ; a law which was put into effect four years afterwards. 
When the Colonies of Sena Gallica and Ariminum had been, 
planted on that same coast, the Boians were, too much weakened 
by their late defeats to offer any opposition. But in two gene- 
rations their strength was recruited, and they were encouraged 
to rise against Rome by the promised support of the Insubrians, 
a powerful tribe who occupied the Transpadane district about 
Milan. The arrival of large bodies of Gauls from beyond the 
Alps f completed their determination, and increased the terror 
which the recollections of the Alia still wrought upon the 
Roman mind. Report exaggerated the truth, and the Romans 
made larger preparations for this Gallic war than they had made 
against Pyrrhus or the Carthaginians. Active preparations 
were seconded by superstitious rites. The Sibylline books were 
consulted, and in them it was found written that the soil of 
Rome must be twice occupied by a foreign foe. To fulfil this 
prediction, the Government barbarously ordered a Gaulish man 
and woman, together with a Greek woman, to be buried alive in 
the Forum. 

* See Chapt. xxi. §§ 11 and 12. 

f They were called Gcvsatce, probably from gccsa, the Gallic javelins 
mentioned by Virgil and others : 

" duo quisque Alpina coruscant 

Gresa raanu." — JEn. viii. 661. 

They are represented a? wearing tartan plaids (sagula virgatd) and trews 
[braccos). Hence Transalpine Gaul was called Gallia Braccata, while the 
Romanised Cisalpine province was Gallia Togata. 


§ 9. The campaign opened in Northern Etruria. The Gauls 
crossed the Apennines into the vale of the Arno and fell sud- 
denly upon the Praetor stationed with an army at Fa3sula3. Him 
they overpowered, and defeated with great slaughter. The Con- 
sul iEmilius now, with great promptitude, crossed the Umbrian 
hills into Etruria ; and on his approach the Gauls retired north- 
wards along the coast, wishing to secure their booty ; while 
iEniilius hung upon their rear, without venturing to engage in 
a general action. But near Pisa they found that the other 
Consul, Atilius, had landed from Sardinia ; and thus hemmed. in 
by two consular armies, they were obliged to give battle at a 
place called Telamon. The conflict was desperate ; but the 
Romans were better armed and better disciplined than of old, 
while the Gaul3 had remained stationary. Their large heavy 
broad-swords, forged of ill-tempered iron, bent at the first blow, 
and while they stooped to straighten them with the foot, they 
were full exposed to the thrust of the short Roman sword. The 
victory of Telamon was as signal as that of Sentinum or of 

§ 10. The Consuls of the next year (224 B.C.) again invaded 
the Boian country, and received the complete submission of all 
the tribes on the right bank of the Po. In the following year 
C. Flaminius, the reputed cause of the war, was Consul, and 
pushed across the Po, with the resolution of punishing the 
Insubrians (Milanese) for the part they had taken in the inva- 
sion of Etruria. The place at which he crossed the great river 
was somewhere above Mantua; and here he formed a league 
with the Cenomanni, who were at deadly feud with the Insu- 
brians. Assisted by these auxiliaries, he moved westward across 
the Adda, the boundary of the Insubrian district. At this 
moment Flaminius received despatches from the Senate, for- 
bidding him to invade the Insubrian country. But he laid 
them aside unopened, and at once gave battle to the enemy. 
He gained a signal victory ; and then, opening the despatches, he 
laughed at the caution of the Senate. 

§ 11. During the winter the Insubrians sued for peace; but 
the new Consuls, Cn. Cornelius Scipio and M. Claudius Marcellus 
— afterwards so celebrated — persuaded the Senate to undertake 
a fourth campaign. The Consuls both marched north, and 
entered the Insubrian territory. But Marcellus, hearing that 
Viridomarus, the Insubrian chief, had crossed the Po to ravage 
the country lately occupied by the Romans, left his colleague to 
reduce the principal towns of the Insubrians, while he pursued 
the chief with his army. He came up with him near Clasti- 
dium, and attacked him with his cavalry alone. A smart action 

L 3 


ensued, in which Marcellus encountered Viridomarus, and slew 
him with his own hand ; and the Gauls fled in disorder. Thus 
were won the third and last Spolia Opima. Meanwhile Scipio 
had taken Mediolanum (Milan), the chief city of the Insubrian 
Gauls, and the war was concluded (b.c. 222). 

§ 12. Soon after this it was resolved, probably at the instance 
of Flaminius, to plant two colonies, Cremona and Placentia, on 
opposite sides of the Po, so as to secure the territory lately won 
in the Boian and Insubrian territories. But the execution of 
this project did not take place till three years later, when 
Hannibal was on his march. Some years afterwards we hear 
this district spoken of as the Province of Ariminum.* Commu- 
nication was secured between "Rome and Ariminum by a road 
constructed in the Censorship of Plaminius, which bore his name 
(220 b.c). 

§ 13. During this great disturbance in Italy, Demetrius of 
Pharos proved as false to his new patrons as he had been to 
Teuta. Relying on the support of Philip king of Macedon, he 
assumed the air of an independent chief, and encouraged his 
subjects in their old piratical practices. In 219 b.c. L. iEmilius 
Paullus, the Patrician Consul, received orders from the Senate 
to put a stop to these proceedings. In one short campaign he 
reduced Corcyra, took Pharos, and forced Demetrius to take 
refuge at the court of Philip, where we shall find him at a later 
time active in promoting hostilities against Rome. Illyria again 
fell into the hands of native chiefs ; the Romans, however, kept 
possession of the island of Corcyra, together with the strong 
towns of Oricum and Apollonia, — positions of great service in 
the Macedonian wars. 

§ 14. Thus triumphant on all sides and on all sides apparently 
secure, the Roman government had no presentiment of the 
storm that had long been gathering in the West. We must now 
return to Hamilcar* 

He crossed the straits of Gibraltar probably in 236 B.C. With 
him went his son-in-law Hasdrubal, and his son Hannibal, then a 
boy of nine years old, but even then giving promise of those 
qualities which afterwards made him the terror of Rome. Hamilcar 
had not intended to take him to Spain ; but the boy pleaded so 
earnestly, that the father yielded on condition that he should 
swear eternal enmity to Rome and the Romans. Hannibal him- 
self, in his old age, told the tale to Antiochus, king of Syria, how 
he was led to the altar of his country's gods, and took this 
direful oath, Nothing can more strongly show the feelings with 

* In the year 205 B.C. See Liv. xxviii. 33: " Ariminum, — ita Galliam 


which Hamilcar left his country. He went not as the servant 
of Carthage, but as the enemy of Koine, with feelings of personal 
hostility, not to be appeased save by the degradation of his 

His first object was to conquer Spain, and thus put Carthage 
in possession of a province which might itself become a great 
kingdom, and was worth many Sicilies and Sardinias. One of 
the chief advantages he proposed to himself in this conquest 
was the supply of hardy soldiers, which would be given by the 
possession of Spain. But he was well aware that for this pur- 
pose conquest was not sufficient; he must enlist the feelings 
of the Spaniards in his cause ; he must teach them to look 
up to himself and his family as their friends and benefactors. 
Accordingly he married a Spanish lady of Castulo ; he lived 
among the natives like one of themselves ; he taught them to 
work their rich silver mines ; and in all ways opened out the 
resources of the country. Meanwhile he collected and disci- 
plined an excellent army, with which he reduced many of the 
ruder tribes to the northward of the modern Andalusia and 
Murcia. Thus he reigned (this is the best word to express his 
power) with vigour and wisdom for eight years ; and in the 
ninth he fell in battle, admired and regretted by all southern 

§ 15. Hannibal was yet only in his eighteenth year, too young 
to take up the work which his father had left unfinished. But 
Hasdrubal, the son-in-law of the' great commander, proved his 
worthy successor. He at once assumed supreme authority. By 
the gentler arts of conciliation he won over a great number of 
tribes ; and in order to give a capital to this new realm, he 
founded the city of New Carthage, now Carthagena, on the coast 
of Murcia. The successes of Hamilcar had already attracted 
the notice of the Senate ; and about the year 227 B.C., presently 
after his death, they concluded a league with Hasdrubal, 
whereby the river Ebro was fixed as the northern boundary 
of the Carthaginian empire in Spain. Hasdrubal fell by the 
knife of an assassin in the year 221 B.C., the eighth of his 

§ 16. Hannibal was now in his twenty-sixth year. He was at 
once elected by the acclamations of the army to stand in his 
great father's place. Nor did the government venture to brave 
the anger of a young general at the head of an army devoted to 
his cause. Hannibal remained as ruler of Carthaginian Spain. 
The office was becoming hereditary in his family. 

Hamilcar had enlarged the Carthaginian rule in Spain from 
a few trading settlements to a great province. Hasdrubal had 


carried the limits of this province as far as the Sierra of Toledo. 
Hannibal immediately crossed this range into the valley of the 
Tagus, and reduced the Celtiberian tribes which then occupied 
Castille. He even passed the Castilian mountains which form 
the upper edge of the basin of the Tagus, and made the name of 
Carthage feared among the Vaccaeans of the Douro, by taking 
their chief town Helmantic6 (Salamanca). At the close of the 
year 220 B.C., all Spain south of the Ebro was in subjection to 
Carthage, or in alliance with her. The great qualities of the 
three men through whom they knew her made them not unwill- 
ing vassals. 

§ 17. But there was one city south of the Ebro which still 
maintained independence. This was Saguntum, an ancient 
colony from the Greek island of Zacynthos. Its site on the 
coast of modern Valencia is marked by the present town of 
Murviedro (Muri Veteres), rather more than half-way between 
New Carthage and the mouth of the Ebro. Saguntum had been 
for some time in alliance with Rome ; and therefore, though it 
was on the Carthaginian side of the Ebro, was by Eoman custom 
entitled to support. In the year 219 B.C. this city was at war 
with a neighbouring tribe, and Hannibal eagerly accepted an 
invitation to destroy the ally of his enemy. He surrounded 
Saguntum with a large army ; but the people held out for eight 
months with that heroic obstinacy which seems to distinguish 
all dwellers on Spanish ground, when engaged in defensive war- 
fare. In many respects the siege of Saguntum brings that of 
Saragossa to mind. 

§ 18. While the siege yet lasted, the Eoman Senate had sent 
envoys to Hannibal, requiring him to desist from attacking their 
ally. He replied coldly, that "he could not answer for their 
safety in his camp ; they had better seek redress at Carthage." 
They went on their way : but meantime the news of the fall of 
Saguntum reached Rome, and an embassy was sent to Carthage 
to demand that Hannibal, the author of the mischief, should be 
given up. There was a large party, that of Hanno and the 
government, which would probably have complied with this 
demand. But Rome was hated at Carthage, and the government 
did not dare to oppose the general feeling. They replied that 
" Saguntum was not mentioned in the treaty of Hasdrubal ; even 
if it were, that treaty had never been ratified by the govern- 
ment, and therefore was of no authority.'' Then Q. Fabius Buteo, 
chief of the Roman Envoys, doubling his toga in his hand, held 
it up and said: "In this fold I carry peace and ^ war: choose 
ye which ye will have." "Give us which you will," replied the 
Suffet. "Then take war," said the Roman, letting his toga fall 

Chap. XXVI. HANNIBAL. 229 

loose. "We accept the gift," cried the Senators of Carthage, 
" and welcome." 

Thus was war formally declared against Borne. But before we 
pass on to the narrative of this war, it will be well to form some 
idea of the extraordinary man who, by his sole genius, undertook 
and supported it with success for so many years. 

§ 19. Hannibal was now in his twenty-eighth year, nearly of 
the same age at which Napoleon Bonaparte led the army of the 
French Kepublic into Italy. And when we have named Napo- 
leon, we have named, perhaps, the only man, ancient or modern, 
who can claim to be superior, or even equal, to Hannibal as a 
general. Bred in the camp, he possessed every quality necessary 
to gain the confidence of his men. His personal strength and 
activity were such, that he could handle their arms and perform 
their exercises, on foot or on horseback, more skilfully than 
themselves. His endurance of heat and cold, of fatigue and 
hunger, excelled that of the hardiest soldier in the camp. He 
never required others to do what he could not and would not do 
himself. To these bodily powers he added an address as winning 
as that of Hasdrubal his brother-in-law, talents for command 
fully as great as those of his father Hamilcar. His frank man- 
ners and genial temper endeared him to the soldiery : his strong 
will swayed them like one man. The different nations who 
made up his motley arms — Africans and Spaniards, Gauls and 
Italians — looked upon him each as their own chief. Amid the 
hardships which his mixed army underwent for sixteen years in 
a foreign land, there never was a mutiny in his camp. This 
admirable versatility of the man was seconded by qualities 
required to make the general. His quick perception and great 
sagacity led him to marvellously correct judgment of future 
events and distant countries, — which in those days, when tra- 
vellers were few and countries unknown, must have been a task 
of extraordinary difficulty. He formed his plans after patient 
inquiry, and kept them profoundly secret till it was necessary 
to make them known. But with this caution in designing was 
united marvellous promptness in execution. "He was never 
deceived himself," says Polybius, " but never failed to take 
advantage of the errors of his opponent." Nor was he a mere 
soldier. In leisure hours he delighted to converse with Greeks 
on topics of intellectual cultivation. As a statesman, he dis- 
played ability hardly inferior to that which he displayed as a 

Against these great qualities, he is said to have been cruel 
even to ferocity, and treacherous beyond the common measure 


of his country.* As to perfidy, we hear of no single occasion on 
which Hannibal broke faith with Rome. As to cruelty, there 
can be no doubt that he was indifferent to human life ; and on 
several occasions we shall find him, under the influence of pas- 
sion, treating his prisoners with great barbarity. But though he 
had been trained to consider the Romans as his natural enemies, 
to be hunted down like wolves, we shall find him treating worthy 
foemen, such as Marcellus, with the magnanimity of a noble 

But whatever might be the ability, whatever the hardihood of 
the young general, he required it all. To penetrate from the 
Ebro to the Po, with chains of giant mountains to bar his pro- 
gress, through barbarous and hostile countries, without roa<jls or 
maps or accurate knowledge of his route, without certain pro- 
vision for the food and clothing of his army, without the hearty 
concurrence of his own Government, — was an undertaking from 
which the boldest might shrink ; and to have accomplished this 
march with triumphant success would alone justify the homage 
which is still paid to the genius of Hannibal. 

* " Has tantas viri virtutes ingentia vitia acquabant : bhumana crudeinas. 
perfidia plusquam Puniea." — Li v. xii 4. 

.Lake i rasimene. 



§ 1. The War divided into Four Periods. § 2, Hannibal's preparations and 
forces. § 3. His march to the Rhone. § 4. Preparations of the Romans : 
Sempronius sent to Sicily, Scipio touches at Massilia. § 5. Passage of the 
Rhone. § 6. Scipio sends his brother into Spain, and himself returns to 
Italy, § 7. Hannibal marches up the Rhone to the Isere, § 8. Begins 
the passage of the Alps. § 9. Surmounts the Pass and reaches Italy. 
§ 10. His great losses: takes Turin. § 11. Cavalry skirmish of the 
Ticinus. §12. Retreat of Scipio*. position of the two armies on the 
Trebia. § 13. Battle of the Trebia. § 14. Preparations for second cam- 
paign : position of Flaminius. § 15. Hannibal's march through Etruria. 
§ 16. Battle of Lake Trasimene. § 17. Dismay at Rome : Measures taken 
by the Senate. §18. Course taken by Hannibal. §19. Policy of Fabius : 
escape of Hannibal from Campania. § 20. Discontent at Rome : Minucius. 
§ 21. Review : Varro and Paullus Consuls for next year. § 22. Position 
of the two armies near Canusium. § 23. Varro resolves to give battle. 
§ 24, Preparations for the Battle of Cannse. § 25. Battle of Cannae. 
§ 26. Feelings at Rome. § 27. Reasons for Hannibal not advancing to 
Rome : Embassy. § 28. Firmness of the Senate. § 29. Hannibal enters 
Capua. § 30. Revolt of all Southern Italy, except Colonies and Free 


Towns. § 31. Embassy of Hannibal to Carthage. § 32. The Soipios in 
Spain. § 33. Prospects of Hannibal. § 34. Senate filled up : economical 
measures. § 35. Philip of Macedon. § 36. Oppian Law. 

§ 1. The war which began with the invasion of Italy by Hannibal 
lasted for seventeen years. Its changing scenes and fortunes 
will be made more clear by separating it into Periods, as was 
done with the First Punic War. These Periods are Four. 

The First comprehends the victorious career of Hannibal, 
from the Passage of the Alps in 218 B.C., to his winter-quarters 
at Capua in 216-15. Each year is marked by a great battle — 
Trebia, Trasimene, Canna3. 

The Second is of Five Years, in which the Romans, by caution 
and wariness, avoid signal defeats, and succeed in recovering 
Capua while they lose Tarentum (215-211 B.C.). 

The Third, of Four Years, in which Hannibal, left without 
support from home, is obliged more and more to confine himself 
to the mountain regions of Calabria, relying on the succours to 
be brought him from Spain by his brother Hasdrubal. It ends 
with the disastrous Battle of the Metaurus, which destroyed his 
hopes (211-207 B.C.). 

The Fourth, of Four Years, in which Hannibal stands at bay 
in the extremity of Italy, while the main scene of the war 
shifts to Spain, Sicily, and Africa. It terminates with the great 
battle of Zama, and the peace which followed (206-202 B.C.). 

But during the former periods of the great war, the Roman 
arms were also engaged in Spain, in Sicily, and in Epirus. From 
the very beginning of the war they maintained the conflict in. 
Spain. After 215 B.C. they were obliged to besiege Syracuse and 
reconquer Sicily, as well as Sardinia. In 213 B.C. they declared 
war against Philip of Macedon, in order to prevent him from 
sending aid to Hannibal in Italy. Fitting opportunities will 
occur to speak of the first two wars ; but the Macedonian Wkv 
will be conveniently deferred to the next Book. 

§ 2. The winter of 219 was passed by Hannibalin active pre- 
paration. His soldiers received leave of absence, with orders to 
be present at New Carthage at the very beginning of next spring. 
He sent envoys into the south of Gaul and north of Italy, to 
inform the Celts on both sides of the Alps of his expedition, — to 
win the Transalpine Gauls with hopes of the plunder of Italy, to 
rouse the Cisalpine by promises of delivery from the Roman 
yoke. These envoys returned early in the year 218 with favour- 
able accounts of the disposition of the Gallic tribes : the Passage 
of the Alps they reported to be difficult and dangerous, but not 

Thus assured Hannibal reviewed his troops at New Carthage. 


The army of invasion amounted to 90,000 foot and 12,000 horse, 
with some fifty elephants.* The heavy Infantry was mostly 
Spanish, the veteran soldiers of Hamilcar and Hasdrubal, re- 
cruited by new levies of his own. The Spaniards, however, were 
kept in balance by a still larger body of Libyan troops. The light 
infantry, slingers and archers, were from the Balearic Isles. Of 
the Cavalry, the heavy troopers were Spanish, while the light 
horse were furnished by Numidia ; and the whole of this arm 
was placed under the command of the fiery Maharbal. 
. Hasdrubal, the brother of Hannibal, was left at New Carthage, 
to rule the lately-conquered province of Spain, and to raise an 
army of reserve for the Italian war. Mago, his youngest brother, 
accompanied the general. 

§ 3. Having left New Carthage about the end of May, Hannibal 
marched with no interruption to the Ebro ; but as soon as he 
had crossed that river, the whole country up to the Pyrenees 
was hostile. By great rapidity of movement, though with the 
loss of many men, he reduced all the tribes to submission in a 
few weeks, and, leaving an officer, with 11,000 men, in charge of 
this district, he pushed forward to the Pyrenees. Here his 
Spanish soldiers first discovered that they were to be led into 
strange and unknown lands ; discontent appeared in the camp ; 
3000 Carpetanians, a tribe which had not been long conquered, 
seized their arms and set off homewards. Upon this, Hannibal 
with prudent frankness, called the troops together, told them 
his whole design, and gave all who were unwilling to go on 
free leave to return. Nearly 8,000 more availed themselves of 
this permission. 

He passed round the eastern end of the Pyrenees, where the 
mountains sink gently towards the sea, and halted his army for a 
few days at Ruscino (Roussillon). On a review, it appeared that 
the losses he had sustained, together with the 22,000 men whom 
he had left in Catalonia or who had gone home, had reduced his 
foot to 50,000, and his horse to 9000. With this force he ad- 
vanced almost unopposed to the banks of the Rhone. 

§ 4. It is now time to inquire what the Romans were doing to 
meet the coming danger. 

The Senate had not been idle. But they had acted on the 
supposition that the Second Punic War, like the First, would be 
fought on foreign soil. It is almost amusing to contrast their 
expectations with the result. The Plebeian Consul, Tib. Sem- 
pronius Longus, was sent to Lilybaeum with a large fleet, with 
orders to invade Africa : the other Consul, P. Cornelius Scipio, 

* Polybius iii. 35, 1. The historian saw at Lacinium in Southern Italy a 
bronze tablet left there by Hannibal on which were inscribed the numbers of 
the vihole force reviewed at Carthagena (iii. 33, 18). It was considerably larger. 


was to land in Spain and take the field against Hannibal. And 
it is plain that the Senate thought this service the least im- 
portant of the two, because they detained Scipio's army rather 
than that of Sempronius, to quell a rebellion which broke out in 
Cisalpine Gaul, in consequence of the proceedings of the Trium- 
viri, who had been sent to distribute the confiscated lands of the 
Boians and Insubrians among the colonists of Placentia and Cre- 
mona.* Just at this time the envoys of Hannibal arrived, and 
the Gauls rushed to arms. To repress this outbreak, one of 
Scipio's legions was sent off in all haste, and the Consul could 
not set sail for Spain till he had raised a new legion. His troops 
met at Pisa, and he was just weighing anchor for Spain when he 
heard that Hannibal had already crossed the Pyrenees. 

On receiving' this news, he put in at the allied city of Massilia 
(Marseilles), and disembarked there, intending to arrest Han- 
nibal's march upon the Ehone. He did not expect him there 
for some time yet, and therefore he gave his army some days' 
rest, while he despatched a reconnoitring party of 300 picked 
horse up the left bank of the river, under the trusty guidance of 
the Massaliots. 

§ 5. But Hannibal had crossed the Ehone while these horsemen 
were on their way up the river. The point at which he reached 
it was not far above Avignon, about fifty miles from the coast. 
The river itself is large, and the rapidity of its stream proverbial. 
But, besides these natural difficulties, he found the left bank 
occupied by a large host of Gauls. Upon this, he immediately 
made preparations for forcing the passage. After two days spent 
in seizing boats and constructing rafts, he sent Hanno, son of 
Bomilcar, with a strong detachment of cavalry, to cross the river 
about twenty miles higher up, so as to come round upon the 
rear of the Gauls. On the morning of the third day after his 
departure, Hanno signalled his arrival to Hannibal by a column 
of smoke; and the Carthaginians immediately pushed their boats 
and rafts into the stream. The Gauls flocked down to the water's 
edge, brandishing their arms and uttering wild yells of defiance. 
But while the boats were in mid-stream, a cry arose from the 
rear ; and, looking round, the Barbarians beheld their tents in 
flames. They hastened back, and were charged by Hanno with 
his cavalry. Meanwhile, the first divisions of the army, forming 
under the General's eye, completed the defeat of the Gauls ; and 
for the remainder of the day the Carthaginians lay encamped in 
the enemy's late quarters. All the army, except the elephants, 
had effected the passage. Tt was on this very day that Scipio 
sent off his 300 horse from Marseilles. 

* Above, Chapt. xxvi. § 12, 


On the next morning (the sixth after his arrival on the Rhone) 
news reached Hannibal that the Romans had landed. Upon this 
he instantly despatched a body of 500 Numidian horse to recon- 
noitre, while he himself spent the day in preparations for bring- 
ing over the elephants. At this moment, some Boian and Insu- 
brian chieftains arrived from Italy to inform him of what their 
people were doing and had done against the Romans, and to 
describe in glowing colours the richness and beauty of the land 
which would welcome him after the toils of the Alpine Passage. 
This news had a great effect upon the army, which was some- 
what dispirited by the opposition offered by the Gauls upon the 

In the evenirg the Numidian horse galloped into camp in 
great disorder, having lost half their number. At some distance 
a body of cavalry appeared in pursuit, who reined in their horses 
on coming in view of the Carthaginian camp, and then turned 
about and rode off down the river. This was Scipio's recon- 
noitring party, which had encountered the Nurnidians and 
defeated them. 

§ 6. Hannibal, finding the enemy so near at hand, sent off the 
whole of his infantry next morning to march up the left bank of 
the Rhone. He himself only stayed till he saw his elephants, 
now about thirty in number, safely across the stream ; and then, 
with the elephants and cavalry, he followed the army. 

Scipio, on his part, so soon as he heard that the Carthaginians 
had already crossed the Rhone, proceeded by forced marches up 
the river. But it was three or four days after Hannibal's de- 
parture that he arrived at the point where the Carthaginians 
had crossed. It was in vain to pursue the enemy into unknown 
regions, peopled by barbarous tribes ; and Scipio had the morti- 
fication to reflect that, if he had marched at once from Mar- 
seilles, he might have come in time to assist the Gauls in bar- 
ring Hannibal's passage. Not able to undo the past, he provided 
wisely for the future. He despatched his brother. Cnaeus to 
Spain with the fleet and the consular army, deeming it of high 
importance to cut oft' communication between Hannibal and 
that country ; and himself returned to Pisa, to take command 
of the army which had been left to suppress the Gallic insurrec- 
tion. He expected to meet Hannibal's army shattered by the 
passage of the Alps, and to gain an easy victory. 

§ 7. Meanwhile, Hannibal continued his march up the Rhone, 
and crossing the Isere found himself in the plains of Dauphine, 
then inhabited by the Allobrogian Gauls. He marched thus far 
north, about one hundred miles beyond the place where he had 
crossed the Rhone, at the invitation of a chieftain who was con- 


tending for the dominion of the tribe with his younger brother. 
Hannibal's veterans put the elder brother in possession ; and 
the grateful chief furnished the army with arms and clothing, 
entertained them hospitably for some days, and guided them to 
the verge of his own dominions. This must have brought them 
to the point at which the Isere issues from the lower range of 
the Alps into the plain, near the present fortress of Grenoble. 

§ 8. Up to this point there is little doubt as to the route taken 
by Hannibal ; but after this all is doubtful. It appears that he 
first had to force his way through a pass of the lower mountains 
behind Grenoble, from which he emerged into a comparatively 
open valley, where he took a town belonging to the Allobrogian 
Gauls. Two or three days' march through this valley brought 
him to the foot of the main Alpine chain. Here he was met by 
the mountaineers with branches in their hands in token of peace 
and friendship, offering to guide him over the pass. Hannibal 
accepted their offers only because he thought it dangerous to 
refuse, taking the precaution to secure his rear by a strong 
guard. On the third day the faithless barbarians fell upon his 
rear, and were only repulsed with great loss both in men and 
horses. They continued to annoy his line of march by rolling 
huge stones down the steep sides of the mountain which over- 
hung the path, till Hannibal prevented them from following, by 
seizing a strong White Rock which commanded the pass. Here 
he kept the barbarians at bay till his baggage and cavalry were a 
day's march in advance ; and then followed, with the elephants 
in rear, for the mountaineers dared not come near these strange 
and unknown monsters. 

§ 9. In seven days after he began the ascent he reached the 
summit. Hannibal now endeavoured to cheer the fainting hearts 
of his weary soldiers, by pointing out the descending pathway 
which led to the plains of Italy. And here he halted two days 
to rest them and collect the stragglers. It was now near the 
end of October. The last year's snow, frozen into ice, lay thick 
at the top of the pass, and fresh snow began to fall, which covered 
the traces of ths path. The ascent had been bad, but the de- 
scent was worse. Multitudes of men and cattle sank daily, worn 
out by hunger and fatigue. Their progress was further impeded 
by finding that in one place the pathway had slipped away for a 
distance of a furlong and a half. It was necessary to make a 
new road, and in miserable plight the army was compelled to 
halt for nearly three days.* In three days more they reached 

* The stories of his softening the rocks by fire and vinegar are omitted. 
Polybius says not a word of such matters ; and there is little doubt that they 
are a romantic addition of the Latin writers. 


the bottom of the pass, having spent fifteen days in the whole 

§ 10. The extent of suffering which the army had gone through 
may be best estimated by considering the losses which it had 
sustained since the review at Roussillon. Out of 50,000 foot and 
9000 horse, Hannibal had remaining only 20,000 of the former 
and 6000 of the latter.* A large number of his elephants had 
perished ; it is wonderful that so many horse survived. 

Hannibal descended among the mountains of the Salassians, 
and pushed on into the friendly country of the Insubrians (Mi- 
lanese), where he rested his troops for some time, and procured 
fresh horses for many of his cavalry. He rewarded the services 
of the Insubrians by marching against the hostile tribe of the 
Taurini, whoso capital city (Turin) he took by assault. 

§ 11. It was now December. He was moving down the left 
bank of the Po, above its junction with the Ticinus, on the 
Piedmontese side of the latter river, when his cavalry came in 
conflict with the Roman horse, commanded by the Consul 
Scipio himself. 

Scipio had returned to Pisa, whence he moved northward to 
encounter Hannibal on his descent from the Alps. He crossed 
the Po perhaps near Placentia, marched westward to the Ticinus, 
over which he threw a bridge, and advanced still westward by a 
two days' march. His scouts now brought word that Hannibal 
was in front. Next day both generals advanced to reconnoitre 
with their cavalry and light troops. A smart action followed, in 
which the Romans had the worst. The Consul was severely 
wounded, his life being saved by the devotion of a Ligurian slave> 
or, as others said, by his son Publius, afterwards the great 
Africanus, then a youth only seventeen years old. He fell back 
upon his main body and recrossed the Po so rapidly that, in 
breaking up the bridge, we know not at what point, he left 600 
men behind, who fell into the hands of Hannibal. This was the 
skirmish of the Ticinus, which proved Hannibal's superiority in 

§ 12. Hannibal, having failed in intercepting Scipio, marched 
backward, and, crossing the Po eastward of Alessandria, advanced 
eastward down the river ; and Scipio, finding that the Gauls were 
rising in insurrection around him, fell back to a strong position 
beyond the Trebia ; and here he fortified himself, with the pur- 
pose of awaiting the arrival of his colleague Sempronius, whom 
the Senate had ordered to hasten from Sicily into the north of 
Italy. Hannibal followed the -Romans, and encamped in view 

* This also is taken from Hannibal's bronze plate at Lacinium. 

238 HOME AND CARTHAGE. Book iy, 

of them on the right bank of the Trebia. Here he received offers 
from a Brundusian who was in charge of the Roman magazine at 
Clastidium (Casteggio) to betray the place. Meantime, Sem- 
pronius had arrived. Not daring to sail direct from Sicily to Pisa 
at that time of year, he had sent his army over the Straits of 
Messana, with orders to rendezvous at Ariminum ; and so expe- 
ditious were they that they performed the whole march from 
Lilybeeum to Scipio's camp in forty days. Scipio endeavoured 
to dissuade Sempronius from venturing a general action, but in 
vain ; and being still confined by the consequences of his wound, 
he was obliged to leave the whole army under the direction of 
his colleague. Hannibal, for his part, was anxious for a battle. 
The Gauls began to complain of the burden of two armies in 
their country, and victory was necessary to secure them in his 

§ 13. The Trebia is a mountain stream, which in summer runs 
babbling over a broad gravelly bed, so shallow that the foot- 
traveller walks over it unheeding ; but in winter, or after heavy 
rains, it rises to a deep and rapid torrent. It was now nearly 
the end of December, and Hannibal resolved that he would not 
cross the water to attack the Romans, but w r ould make them 
cross it to attack him. He executed his purpose with great 
skill. On his left there was a sort of gully, thickly grown with 
reeds and brushwood, in which he concealed his brother Mago 
with 1000 foot and as many horse. Then, early in the morning, 
he sent his Numidian riders across the river, and ordered the 
whole army to prepare for the work of the day by rubbing them- 
selves with oil and making a hearty meal. As soon as Sempronius 
saw the Numidians cross the water, he sent out his cavalry, 
about 4000 strong, to meet them, and then drew out his whole 
army, amounting to about 36,000 men, to support the attack. 
The Numidians feigned defeat, and fled across the river. The 
Romans pursued, but the water was running breast-high and was 
deadly cold ; sleet was falling, which was driven in their faces by 
the east wind ; and when they reached the other side, they were 
half dead with cold and wet and hunger. Their skilful foes now 
opened on both sides and displayed Hannibal's infantry in battle- 
order with the rest of the cavalry and the elephants on either 
wing. The Roman cavalry, which was also on the wings, was 
greatly outnumbered and soon put to flight ; but the Legions 
and Allies kept their ground bravely under all disadvantages till 
Mago rose from ambush and attacked them in rear. Then the 
rout became general. A body of 10,000 men, however, made 
their way to Placentia; the rest were driven back with great 
slaughter to the Trebia, in which many were drowned, but a large 


number rallied, and, with the Consul Sempronius himself, re- 
crossed in safety. 

The battle of the Trebia ended Haniiibal's first campaign. The 
two Consuls, with the relics of their armies, contrived to throw 
themselves into Placentia and Cremona, and afterwards made 
good their retreat to Ariminum. Sempronius had sent home a 
varnished account of the battle, but the fatal truth soon betrayed 
itself. Two consular armies had been defeated, Cisalpine Gaul 
was abandoned to the Carthaginians. 

§ 14. B.C. 217. The Senate made no extraordinary preparations 
for the next campaign. Sicily, Sardinia, and Tarentum were gar- 
risoned against the Carthaginian fleets ; the new Consuls were to 
keep Hanniba}. out of Roman Italy. The Patrician Consul for the 
year was Cn. Servilius ; C. Flaminius was the Plebeian. Flaminius, 
it will be remembered, had held this high office in 223 B.C., and 
had won a great battle over the Insubrian Gauls, in contempt of 
the orders of the Senate. As Censor, he still dwells in memory 
for having made the Flaminian Way, the great high road from 
Rome through the Sabine country to Ariminum. He had won 
extraordinary popularity by a sweeping agrarian law to divide 
the coast lands of Umbria and Picenum among a number of poor 
citizens. This was the man elected by popular favour to oppose 
Hannibal, brave and generous, but adventurous and reckless. 
Fearing that the Senate might even yet bar his Consulship by an 
appeal to the omens, he left the city befor6 the Ides of March,* 
which was at that time the day for the Consuls to enter upon 
office. But no such attempt was made. Servilius was sent to 
Ariminum to guard the Flaminian Road ; Flaminius himself took 
post at Arretium to watch the passes of the Apennines. 

§ 15. As the spring approached, Hannibal was anxious to leave 
Cisalpine Gaul. His friends the Insubrians and Boians, however 
much they wished to be relieved from the Roman yoke, did not 
relish entertaining a large army. They were proverbially fickle, 
and so much did Hannibal mistrust them, that, to prevent 
attempts upon his life, he continually wore disguises, and 
assumed false hair. Leaving the Roman colonies of Placentia 
and Cremona unassailed, he passed the Apennines early in the 
year by an unfrequented route, which brought him down into 
the neighbourhood of Pistoja and Lucca. From this point east- 
ward he had to march through the Val d'Arno, which was at that 
time an unwholesome swamp. Here his men and horses suffered 
much ; he himself, being attacked by ophthalmia, lost the sight 
of one eye, and was obliged to have recourse to the single elephant 

* From the year 223 to 153 B.C., the Consuls entered office on the Ides 
of March ; after the latter date, on the Calends of January. 



Book IV 

which survived the cold of the Alps and a winter in the North of 
Italy. In the neighbourhood of Faesulae he rested his army, now 
much increased by Gallic recruits, and rewarded his men with the 
plunder of Etruria. Flaminius now found that his dexterous 
enemy had stolen a march upon him, and Hannibal, on his part, 

Cert i 


3T. CrualandTQ^ 


jR,o clcL to 

heard with delight the 
rash and adventurous 
character of the new 
Consul. Trusting to 
this, he led his army 
past Arretium, where 
Flaminius lay en- 
camped, and leaving 
Cortona on the left, 
passed on towards Pe- 
rusia along the north- 
ern side of Lake Trasi- 
mene. As soon as 
Flaminius found that 

the Carthaginian had passed him in this disdainful way, he im- 
mediately marched in pursuit. 

§ 16. As the traveller towards the south comes upon the north- 
western corner of Lake Trasimene, the road ascends a low ridge 
now called Monte Gualandro, along which runs the boundary line 
of the States of the Church and Tuscany, The broad lake lies 
to his right and the road descends into a crescent-shaped plain, 
skirted on the left by hills of some height, while between the 
road and the lake the ground undulates considerably. After 
traversing this open space the road passes the modern village of 
Passignano, and ascends a hill. This was the ground Hannibal 
chose for awaiting Flaminius. He placed his Balearians and light 
troops in ambush along the hills on the left ; he himself, with his 
infantry, lay in front somewhere near Passignano, while his cavalry 
were esconsed in the uneven ground next the lake, ready to close 
upon the rear of the Eomans so soon as they were fairly in the 
plain. While the Carthaginians were thus disposed, Flaminius 
was encamping for the night on the Tuscan side of Monte 
Gualandro. In the morning a thick mist hung over the lake and 
low lands, so that, as the Consul advanced, he could see nothing. 
Hannibal suffered the Eoman vanguard, consisting of 6000 men, 
to pass Passignano before he gave the signal for attack. Hearing 
the cries of battle behind, the van-guard halted anxiously on the 
hill which they were then ascending, but could see nothing for 
the mist. Meantime the Consul, with the main army, was 
assailed on all sides. Charged in front by the Spanish and 
African infantry, on the right and rear by the Gauls and cavalry, 


exposed on his left flank to the ceaseless fire of the slingers 
and javelin-men, Flaminius and his soldiers did all that brave 
men could. They fought valiantly and died fighting. Not less 
than 15,000 Italians fell on that fatal field. Such was the scene 
disclosed, to the soldiers of the van-guard when the mist cleared 
off. Hannibal now sent Maharbal to pursue this division, which 
surrendered at discretion. Such of them as were Romans or 
Latins were all thrown into chains ; the Italian Allies were dis- 
missed without ransom. Thus did Hannibal's plan for the con- 
quest of Rome begin to show itself ; he had no hope of subduing 
Rome and Italy with a handful of Spanish and African veterans. 
These were to be the core of a great army, to be made up of 
Italians, who (as he hoped) would join his victorious standard, 
as the Gauls had already done. " He had come/' he said, " into 
Italy, not to fight against the Italians, but to fight for the liberty 
of the Italians against Rome." 

Such was the battle of Lake Trasimene. So hot was the con- 
flict that the combatants (it is said) did not feel the shock of an 
earthquake, which overthrew many cities of Italy. 

§ 17. Stragglers escaping from the slaughter carried the evil 
tidings to Rome, and the Praetor, unable to extenuate the loss, came 
into the Forum, where the People were assembled, and ascend- 
ing the Rostra uttered the brief but significant words " We have 
been defeated in a great battle." Dreadful was the terror. The 
gates were thronged with mothers and children, eagerly ques- 
tioning the fugitives about the fate of their sons, and fathers, and 
kinsfolk. Every hour Hannibal was expected. Three days 
passed and he came not ; but the news of a fresh disaster came. 
Cn. Servilius, the other Consul, as soon as he heard of Hannibal's 
presence in Etrnria, resolved to join his colleague immediately, 
and sent on his horse, 4000 strong, as an earnest of his own 
arrival. Hannibal, informed of their approach, detached Mahar- 
bal with a division of cavalry and some light-armed troops to 
intercept them, and half of the Romans were cut in pieces. 

Amid the terror which prevailed, the Senate alone maintained 
their calmness. They ordered the bridge over the Tiber to be 
broken down, and sate, without adjournment, to receive intel- 
ligence and deliberate on measures of safety. It was resolved 
(an extraordinary measure) to* call upon the People to elect a 
Dictator, the person recommended being Q. Fabius Maximus, a 
a man of known discretion ; M. Minucius Rufus was also elected 
as his Master of the Horse.* Fabius consulted the Sibylline 
books, and advised the Senate to decree a "sacred spring, 5 

* Commonly, the Consul nominated the Dictator, and the Dictator chose 
his Master of Horse. 



according to the ancient custom of the Sabines. Then, collecting 
the troops that had escaped, and filling up their ranks by a new 
levy, he sent for the army of Servilius, and thus with four legions 
and their auxiliary troops he prepared to take the field. 

§ 18. Meanwhile the movements of Hannibal had relieved the 
Romans of all immediate fear. It seems that he had little hopes 
of the Etruscans, for he straightway passed northwards by the 
Flaminian Road into Picenum, collecting plunder from all the 
Roman settlements as he went. Here he lay quiet during the 
heat of summer. As the weather became cooler, he advanced 
along the coast of the Adriatic into Apulia, still plundering as he 
went. The soldiers revelled in the abundance of Italy : it is said 
they bathed their horses in wine. But the colonies of Luceria 
and Venusia, as of old, refused entrance to the invader, and Han- 
nibal passed the Apennines again into Lower Samnium, where 
Beneventum, also a colony, defied him like the rest. 

§ 19. By this time Fabius had taken the field. He had made 
up his mind not to risk a battle. His plan of campaign was to 
move along the heights, so as to keep Hannibal in view, cutting 
off his supplies, intercepting his communications, and harassing 
him in all ways without a general action. This was not for 
Hannibal's interest. He wished to fight another great battle 
and win another great victory (the things were synonymous with 
him), in order that the Samnites and Italians lately conquered, 
might rise and join him. It was no doubt with the purpose of 
provoking Fabius to a battle, or of showing the Italians that the 
Romans dared not fight him, that Hannibal descended from 
Beneventum down the Vulturnus into the rich. Falernian Plain.* 
Here dwelt Roman citizens ; this was the garden of Italy : would 
not the Dictator fight to defend them and their country from 
the spoiler ? No : Fabius persisted in his cautious policy. He 
closed all the passes leading from the plain, where Hannibal's 
soldiers were now luxuriating, and waited his time patiently, 
thinking he had caught the invader in a trap. But the wily 
Carthaginian eluded him by a simple stratagem. Collecting the 
oxen of this favoured region, he ordered fagots to be tied to 
their horns and lighted as soon as it was night ; and thus 
the animals were driven, tossing their heads with fright 
and waving the flames, up the "pass which leads from Teanum 
to AUifse. The troops who guarded this pass fled panic-stricken 
to the heights of Mount Callicula, and left free passage for 
the Carthaginian army. When morning broke Hannibal was 

* This is the statement of Polybius. The story in Livy, that Hannibal 
told the guides to lead him to Casinum, and that they by a mistake took bira 
to Casilinum in Campania, is not noticed by the graver historian. 


lying safely encamped near Allifse. Thence he pursued his 
devastating course through the Pelignian and Frentanian lands, 
till he again reached Apulia, and there fixed on a strong posi- 
tion near Geronium for his winter-quarters. The place was warm 
and sunny ; corn and provisions were abundant. 

Fabius, however discomfited by Hannibal's escape from Cam- 
pania, persisted in earning his name of The Lingerer * and follow- 
ing Hannibal as before, took post at Larinum, within five or six 
miles of the enemy's camp. 

§ 20. He was now recalled to Eome, ostensibly to preside over 
certain sacred offices, but really to give an account of his con- 
duct. He found the People much discontented. He had been 
in command of two Consular armies for several months, and had 
done worse than nothing : he had allowed the lands of the Roman 
colonists in Apulia and Samnium, the lands of Roman citizens 
in Campania, to be wasted and spoiled before his eyes. These 
discontents were fomented by Minucius, the Master of the Horse, 
who had been left in command at Larinum. Though charged by 
the Dictator not to risk an action, he pushed his camp forward 
within two miles of Hannibal, gained some advantages in skirmish- 
ing with the Carthaginian for aging-parties, and sent home highly- 
coloured despatches describing his successes. Popular feeling 
rose to its height, and C. Terentius Varro became its mouthpiece. 
This man was a petty merchant by trade, the son of a butcher ; 
but he had been Praetor the year before, and was now candidate 
for the Consulship. His eloquence was great ; and he forced the 
Senate to consent to a law which gave Minucius an equal com- 
mand with the Dictator. Fabius quietly gave up half the army 
to his late subordinate, and was soon repaid for his moderation. 
Hannibal discovered the rash character of the new commander, 
and drew him out to battle. Minucius would have been defeated 
as utterly as Flaminius at Lake Trasimene, had not the watchful 
Fabius come up ; upon which Hannibal drew off his men ; and 
Minucius, acknowledging Fabius as his deliverer, craved his 
pardon and resumed his post of Master of the Horse. The whole 
army returned to its old quarters at Larinum. 

§ 21. Thus ended the second campaign, not greatly to the 
satisfaction of either party. Hannibal had hoped that ere this 
8,11 Southern Italy would have risen like one man against Rome. 

* Cunctator. Every one knows Ennius' line, borrowed by Virgil — 
" Onus homo nobis cunctando restituit rem." 
But every one does not know those which follow — 

" Non ponebat enim rumores ante salutem ; 
Ergo magisque magisque viri nunc gloria claret." 

M 2 


He had shown himself her master in the field ; wherever her. 
soldiers had dared to meet his, they had been grievously defeated. 
He had shown all indulgence for Italian prisoners, though he had 
put to the sword all Eoman citizens. But not one city had yet 
opened its gates to receive him. The Gauls of the North were 
the only people who had joined him since he crossed the Alps. 
The Romans, indeed, continued to suffer cruelly, and their ordi- r 
nary revenues' were grievously curtailed. It was agreed that a 
great effort must be made in the ensuing campaign ; an over- 
powering force was to be brought against Hannibal; he was to be 
crushed, if not by skill, by numbers. 

When the day of electing the Consuls came, out of six candi- 
dates C. Terentius Varro alone obtained a sufficient number of 
votes in any tribe to be returned. It is difficult to ascertain the- 
true character of this man. His vigorous eloquence had won th& 
confidence of the people : but so much is plain, that he was no 
general, and his election was esteemed a public misfortune by the 
Senate. Varro himself presided at the election of his colleague^ 
and the Senate, anxious to provide an able general, put forward 
L. iEmilius Pauilus as a candidate. Paullus had shown his" 
ability in his former Consulship, when he concluded the Illyrian 
War in a single campaign. His manners were unpopular ; but 
so earnestly did the Senate represent the necessity of the case; 
that he was returned without opposition. 

These were the Consuls elected to light Hannibal. Their four 
legions were to be added to the four which Fabius commanded 
just before ; and these eight legions were raised to more than 
their usual complement, so that the whole army to be couch 
manded by the Consuls must, with the allied force, have amounted 
to at least 80,000 foot and more than 6000 horse. 

§ 22. B.C. 216. The late Consuls (Atilius had succeeded Fla- 
minius), now serving as Procunsuls, had moved from Larinum 
southwards towards Venusia, and were employed with form- 
ing magazines at Canusium and Cannae ; and on the plain near 
the latter place their camp was formed. Hannibal, as the spring 
advanced, exhausted his supplies ; and having by this time re- 
ceived recruits from Cisalpine Gaul, he made a rapid movement 
and seized the Roman magazine at Canna3, encamping not far 
from that place, on the left bank of the Aufidus. The Pro- 
consuls sent home word of this disaster, but received strict 
orders to continue on the defensive till the Consuls arrived 
to take the command. Yet it was some time before this took 
place, certainly not till near the end of July, for. the great 
battle, which is now to be described, was fought on the 2nd 


6f' August,* and "it was fought soon alter the arrival of the 

i. § 23. The Consuls immediately moved the army to the neigh- 
bourhood of Hannibal, with the intention of offering battle. But 
when Paullus observed the open plain, he was desirous to put off 
an engagement, and manoeuvre so as to draw the enemy into 
ground less favourable for the action of cavalry. Varro, however, 
thought otherwise ; and now appeared the evil of both Consuls 
being joined in command of the same army. It was a repetition 
of the arrangement which had answered so ill in the last years 
with Fabius and Minucius, with this additional evil, that the 
Consuls, instead of dividing the army between them, took the 
command of the whole on alternate days. The Consuls were by 
the constitution equal, and Varro was far too confident of suc- 
cess to give way to his more experienced colleague. iEmilius 
felt bitterly the truth of Fabius' parting injunction : " Remember* 
that you will have to oppose not only Hannibal, but also Varro." 

On the first day of his sole command, Varro moved the whole 
army to the right bank of the Aufidus, between Cannse and the 
§ea, so that the river only separated the Roman camp from that 
of the Carthaginians. Next day iEmilius fortified a smaller camp 
on the left side of the river, fronting Hannibal, so as to secure 
the passage of the river, but resolutely declined battle. On 
the third day, however, when morning broke, the red standard, 
which was the Roman signal for battle, was seen flying from 
Varro's tent. The men rejoiced at this ; they were weary of 
their long inactivity ; they were confident in their numbers, and 
the resolution of their favourite Varro was highly applauded. 

§ 24, When iEmilius found that a battle must be fought on 
the plain of Cannse, he did his best to support his colleague. 
The whole army was drawn up facing nearly south, with the 
right resting on the river Aufidus. The Roman cavalry, only 
2400 strong, were on this right flank ; the left was covered in 
like manner by the cavalry of the Allies. iEmilius commanded 
on the right, Varro on the left ; the centre was under the orders 
of Servilius and Atilius, the Proconsuls, It must be especially 
observed that the Legionaries and Allied Infantry were not 
drawn up, as usual, in an open line, but with the ranks made 
deep and closed up almost like the Phalanx. It has been above 
observed how serviceable the Phalanx was on plain ground ; and 
probably the Consuls imagined that by these compact masses 
of infantry they might offer a more complete resistance to the 
formidable cavalry of Hannibal. 

* It is probable, however, that the Roman 'Calendar was in error, and that 
the battle was really fought not later than June. 



But Hannibal skilfully availed himself of this close array, and 
formed his line accordingly. He had crossed the river early, as 
soon as he saw the Romans in motion. The Spanish and Gallic 
Infantry, much inferior in number to the Romans, he drew out 
in an extended line, equal in length to that of the enemy, but 
much less deep and massive. This line advanced in a convex 
form, and at each end he placed his Africans, so as to form two 
flanking columns of narrow front but great depth. He himself, 
with his brother Mago, commanded the infantry. On his left 
flank, next the river, were the heavy cavalry of Spain and Gaul, 
commanded by an officer named Hasdrubal, not the brother of 
the General. On the right were the Numidian light horse, under 
the orders of Maharbal. 

§ 25. After some indecisive skirmishing between the light 
troops, the real battle began with a conflict on the river-side 
between the Eoman cavalry and the horse of Hasdrubal. The 
latter were greatly superior in force, and charged with such 
effect as to drive the Roman horse across the river. 

Meantime the Roman legions, and their allied infantry, ad- 
vanced steadily against Hannibal's centre. The long crescent- 
shaped line above described was unable to withstand the shock. 
Nor had the General expected it. On the contrary, he had 
instructed the centre so to fall back, as to form a concave 
figure, and then the whole line retired slowly, so as to draw on 
the Eoman masses between the African flanking columns. The 
Romans pressed eagerly on the retiring foe ; but as they ad- 
vanced, the Africans attacked the Romans on both flanks. The 
latter, jammed together, and assailed on both sides, fell into great 
disorder, very few of their vast army being able to use their wea- 
pons. But the Consul iEmilius, who had been wounded by a sling 
in an early part of the action, contrived to restore some sort of 
order, and it seemed as if the battle was not lost ; when Hasdrubal 
fell upon the rear of the legions, and the rout became complete. 

This able officer, after destroying the Roman cavalry, had led 
his heavy horse round to the other wing, where he found the 
Numidians engaged with the allied cavalry. The latter fled in 
confusion ; and Hasdrubal, leaving Maharbal to pursue them, 
made that decisive charge upon the rear of the legions, which 
completed the defeat of the Eoman army. 

Then the battle became a mere massacre. The Romans and 
Allies, mingled in a disorderly mass, were cut down on all sides. 
The Consul iEmilius fell. Varro, with but seventy horsemen, 
escaped to Venusia. Other parties of fugitives made good their 
retreat to Canusium ; some thousands took refuge in the camps. 
But on the bloody field that evening, there lay dead, at the 


lowest computation, more than 40,000 Roman foot and 3000 
horse. The loss in the cavalry involved the death of some of 
the wealthiest and most distinguished men at Rome. With 
them had fallen one Consul, two Proconsuls, two Quaestors, one- 
and-twenty out of eight-and-forty Tribunes, and not less than 
eighty Senators. All who had taken refuge in the camp sur- 
rendered at discretion next day. Hannibal's loss is variously 
stated at from six to eight thousand. 

§ 26. This then was the battle of Cannae. History does not 
record any defeat more complete, and very few more murderous. 
The great army levied to conquer Hannibal had been annihilated. 
The feverish anxiety with which all men at Rome followed the 
Consuls in thought may be imagined ; those who stayed behind 
in horrible suspense, flocked to the temples, offered vows, con- 
sulted the auguries, raked up omens and prophecies, left no 
means untried to divine the issue of the coming battle. What 
must- have been the dismay, what the amazement, with which 
they received the first uncertain tidings of defeat! what the 
despair, what the stupor, which the dreadful reality produced ! 

Among the fugitives who came in with the tidings, was a 
Tribune of the Legions, Cn. Lentulus bj name. As he rode off 
the field, he had seen iEmilius the Consul sitting on a stone, 
mortally wounded. He had dismounted and offered him his 
horse. But the Consul replied, " No, my hours are numbered : 
go thou to Rome, seek out Q. Fabius, and bid him prepare to 
defend the city : tell him that iEmilius dies, as he lived, mindful 
of his precepts and example.' 1 To Fabius, indeed, all eyes were 
now turned. The Senate instantly met ; and at his motion, each 
Senator was invested with the power of a magistrate ; they were 
to prevent all public lamentations ; to hinder the people from 
meeting in the Forum, lest they should pass resolutions in favour 
of peace ; to keep the gates well guarded, suffering no one to 
pass in or out without a special order. Every one feared to see 
the army of Hannibal defiling through the Apennines upon the 
plain of Latium. 

§ 27. What the Romans feared the Carthaginians, desired. 
" Only send me on," said Maharbal to the General, " with the 
cavalry, and within five days thou shalt sup in the Capitol." 
But Hannibal thought otherwise. His army was small ; he was 
totally unprovided with materials for a siege : Rome was strongly 
fortified. "He felt that the mere appearance of his army before 
the walls would rather rouse to action than terrify into submis- 
sion ; and meanwhile the golden time for raising the Samnites 
and other nations of Italy might be lost. Already he was in 
negotiation with the leading men at Capua, a city second only to 


Rome in point of size, superior in wealth. To this place he 
resolved to march as soon as his men were rested. When their 
Allies had deserted, Rome must agree to his terms, without 
giving him the trouble of a siege. 

He resolved, however, to try the temper of the Romans, and 
accordingly sent ten of the chief men among his prisoners, with 
offers to hold all whom he had taken to ransom. The Senate, on 
the motion of T. Manlius Torquatus, a man who had inherited 
the stern decision of his ancestor, refused to admit the mes- 
sengers to an audience, and ordered all to return, as they had 
bound themselves, to Hannibal's camp. Hannibal, greatly pro- 
voked at this almost contemptuous reply to his advances, sold 
the greater part of his prisoners into slavery. This was but the 
common custom of the times. But besides this, he reserved the 
bravest and noblest youths to fight as gladiators for the amusement 
of his army ; and on their refusal he put them to death by tor- 
ture. The fact shows, that in moments of passion Hannibal was 
too justly liable to the accusation of barbarous cruelty. 

§ 28. The Senate were now busily occupied in taking all steps 
possible for the safety of Rome. The public horror was in- 
creased by a discovery that two Vestal virgins had been guilty 
of unchastity. One was, as the law directed, buried alive ; the 
other put herself to death. To avert the wrath of the gods, 
Fabius Pictor was sent to consult the Greek oracle at Delphi ; 
and by the orders of the Sibylline books, a Greek man and 
woman and a Gaulish man and woman were buried alive in the 
Forum, according to the same horrid practice used in the last 
Gallic war. But to these superstitious rites were added wiser 
precautions. Fabius, with the coolness of age and experience, 
continued to direct their measures. M. Claudius Marcellus, now 
Prsetor, was sent to take the command of the fugitives in Apulia ; 
for despatches had arrived from Varro, stating that he had been 
joined by about 4000 men at Venusia, and that about the same 
number had assembled at Canusium under App. Claudius, 
young P. Scipio (now about nineteen years of age), and other 
Tribunes. It was added, that some of the young nobles at 
Canusium, headed by a Metellus, had formed a plan to fly from 
Italy and offer their services to some foreign prince, despairing 
of the Republic ; that young Scipio had gone instantly to the 
lodgings of Metellus, and standing over him with a drawn sword, 
had made him swear that neither would he desert the Republic, 
nor allow others to do so ; that to support the noble conduct of 
Scipio, Varro had himself transferred his head-quarters to Canu- 
sium, and was using all his efforts to collect the remains of the 
defeated army. 


Having given up his command to Marcellus, Varro set out to 
Rome. With what feelings he approached the City may be 
imagined. But as he draw near, the Senate and People went 
out to meet him, and publicly thanked him, " for that he had 
not despaired of the Republic." History presents no nobler 
spectacle than this. Had he been a Carthaginian general, he 
would have been crucified. 

The Dictator ordered levies in Rome and Latium. But the 
immense losses sustained in the three past years had thinned 
the ranks' of those who were on the military list. From the 
action on the Ticinus to Cannse, the loss of the Romans and 
their Allies, in battle alone, could not have been less than 80,000 
men. The Dictator, therefore, proposed to buy 8000 slaves to 
serve as light troops ; and also to enrol debtors, prisoners, and 
other persons by law incapable of serving in the Roman Legions. 
Marcellus, with the remains of the army of Cannse, took his 
post at Casilinum. All commanders were instructed to keep to 
the defensive system of Fabius, and on no account to risk 
another battle. 

§ 29. Meanwhile Hannibal had advanced through Samnium to 
Capua, where he found all prepared to receive him. The Senate, 
being in the interest of Rome, was dismissed, and the chief 
power committed to a popular leader, named Pacuvius Calavius. 
His first act was to seize on Roman residents and put them to 
death ; he then made an agreement with Hannibal that no Car- 
thaginian officer should exercise authority in Capua ; and de- 
manded that 300 Roman prisoners should be put into his hands 
as hostages for the safety of 300 Capuan knights who were serv- 
ing in the Roman army in Sicily. Hannibal agreed to these 
demands, and entered Capua in triumph. One man only, 
by name Decius Magius, ventured to oppose these measures. 
Hannibal treated him with magnanimous clemency, and con- 
tented himself with sending him off to Africa. 

§ 30. All Southern Italy had by this time declared in Han- 
nibal's favour. Most of the Apulians, the Hirpinian and Cau- 
dinian Samnites, the Surren-tines, most of the Lucanians, the 
Bruttians, and all the Greek cities of the South which were not 
held by Roman garrisons, welcomed him as their deliverer. It 
seemed as if he were now about to realise his great project of 
raising Italy in insurrection against Rome. 

He was obliged to send detachments of his army into these 
several districts ; and he employed what small force he still 
retained in attempting to gain possession of the cities in the 
plains of Campania. Nuceria, Acerrae, and others submitted, as 
Oapua had done. But Neapolis and Cumse closed their gates ; 

m 3 


and the Senate of Nola, fearing that the people might rise against 
them, as at Capua, sent to Casilinum for Marsellus. This bold 
officer threw himself into the city, and by a successful sally 
repulsed Hannibal from the gates. He then seized and executed 
seventy persons who were suspected of treason, and entrenched 
himself strongly in a fixed camp near the city. Hannibal, thus 
repulsed from Nola, determined to invest Casilinum, which from 
its proximity to Capua was likely to prove a troublesome neigh- 
bour.* The garrison held out obstinately, but were at length 
obliged to yield. This was almost the only town in Italy which 
Hannibal took by a regular siege. 

§ 31. Hannibal now went into winter quarters at Capua, in 
expectation of receiving succours from home. Soon after the 
battle he had sent off his brother Mago to carry home the tidings 
of his great success. For three years he had pursued a career of 
victory unassisted by the Government : Rome was at his feet : 
he only wanted force enough to crush her. In proof of the 
greatness of the victory of Cannse, Mago poured out on the floor 
of the Senate-house a bushel of gold rings, which had been worn 
by Roman knights who had fallen on that fatal field. But the 
jealous Government, headed by a Hanno, the mortal enemy of 
the Barcine family, listened coldly to Mago's words : they asked 
" whether one Roman or Latin citizen had joined Hannibal? He 
wanted men and money : what more could he want, had he lost 
the battle instead of winning it ?" At length, however, it was 
agreed that Mago should carry reinforcements to Hannibal. But 
the war in Spain assumed so threatening an aspect, that these 
succours were diverted to this nearer danger, and Mago was 
ordered to the support of his brother Hasdrubal in that coun- 
try. All that reached Hannibal was a paltry force of 4C00 ]STu- 
midian horse, with about forty elephants, and a stinted supply 
of money. 

§ 32. Perhaps the General had not expected much from this 
quarter. No doubt the person to whom he looked for chief sup- 
port was his brother Hasdrubal in Spain. But here he was 
doomed to disappointment. It will be remembered that P. 
Scipio, the Consul of the year 218, when he returned from Mar- 
seilles to Pisa, had sent on his brother Ononis into Spain, ac- 
cording to the original orders of the Senate. The wisdom of 
this step was proved by the event. Cn. Scipio landed at Em- 
porium (Ampurias), an old Greek colony. Within the year he 
had driven Hanno across the Ebro. In the next year, the year 
of Trasimene, he defeated Hasdrubal by sea, ravaged the coast 

* Casilinum is the modern Capua. It lies on the river. The site of the 
ancient Capua is about two miles eastward, on an eminence. 


up to the suburbs of New Carthage, and made large booty in one 
of the Balearic Isles. P. Scipio joined his brother towards the 
close of the same year ; and when the battle of Cannse made 
Hannibal master of Southern Italy, the two brothers had sub- 
dued all Northern Spain. 

§ 33. Hannibal's hopes, therefore, of reinforcements for the 
next campaign rested with his new Italian allies. The additional 
cavalry and elephants from Carthage would still give him the 
command of the open country. But the Romans had learnt 
wisdom by sore experience, and Hannibal could not expect to 
win great victories, such as had marked his first three campaigns. 
What he wanted was a good engineer corps and siege apparatus, 
to take the Latin Colonies and other Free Towns, which even in 
the districts that had joined him still maintained the cause of 
Rome. Why he did not employ his winter at Capua in organising 
a force of this nature we know not. But, whatever was the 
cause, he was never able to take towns by force ; and the Romans 
never gave him an opportunity of winning another great battle. 
Consequently all the Latin Colonies and Free Towns remained 
faithful to Home, and Hannibal was only half master even of 
Southern Italy. 

§ 34. The Romans, for their part, passed the winter in the 
most active preparations. The first step necessary was to fill up 
the numerous vacancies caused in the Senate by the late dis- 
astrous battles. It appeared, on calling over the list, that not 
fewer than one hundred and seventy-seven members were missing. 
Sp. Carvilius proposed to recruit the ranks of the Senate by ad- 
mitting the chief citizens of the Latin towns. But this liberal 
proposal was not listened to ; and it was resolved to commit the 
whole business to the care of a Dictator, specially appointed for 
the purpose. The person chosen was M. Fabius Buteo, the same 
who had been sent as chief ambassador to Carthage in the year 
219 B.C. He was an old man, universally respected ; and the 
way he discharged the duty laid upon him gave great satisfaction. 
The bravest and the worthiest men were named as the new 
members. The Consuls elected for the ensuing year were T. 
Sempronius Gracchus, and L. Postumius, now Prsetor command- 
ing in Cisalpine Gaul. But before the Ides of March came the 
sad intelligence that Postumius, with all his army, had been cut 
off by the Gauls. ' Fabius Maximus himself was elected Consul 
for the third time, to supply his place. Marcellus and Varro 
were to remain in command as Proconsuls. 

To add to the difficulties of the Romans, means were scanty to 
support the vast expenses of the war ; for the revenues of the 
whole of Southern Italy were cut off, 


§ 35. It must have been a further discouragement to" find that 
Hannibal had entered into negotiations with Philip King of 
Macedon. The messengers of the King were taken on their way 
to Capua. For the present, therefore, the danger to be expected 
from this quarter was averted ; but for the future the prospect 
was made more gloomy. 

§ 36. Few things, probably, could mark the public feeling more 
than a law which was passed in the next year at the instance of 
the Tribune Oppius, by which it was forbidden that any woman 
should wear a gay-coloured dress, or have more than half an 
ounce of gold to ornament her person, and that none should 
approach within a mile of any city or town in a car drawn by 
horses. Public need must be very urgent before it is possible to 
restrain private expenditure by enactments so rigid as those of 
the Oppian Law. 

Head of Marcellus, on a Coin of Marcellinus. 


§ 1. Fabius and his coadjutors. § 2. Plan of the campaign on both sides. 
§ 3. Gracchus attacks the Capuans : Marcellus sallies from Nola and defeats 
a division of the Carthaginians. § 4. Fabius sets aside the election of the 
Tribes. § 5. Order with respect to the soldiers of Cannae. § 6. Hanno 
fails before Beneventum, Hannibal before Tarentum. § 7. Uncertainty ot 
Hannibal's position in Southern Italy. § 8. War declared against Philip 
of Macedon. § 9. Insurrection in Sardinia. § 10. Death of Hiero, and 
revolt of Syracuse. §11. Marcellus takes Leontini and begins siege of 
Syracuse. § 12. Extent of Syracuse. § 13. Vigorous defence by Archi- 
medes : general defection of the Sicilian towns. § 14. Capture of Syracuse. 
§ 15. War still maintained by Epicydes, with the assistance of the African 
Mutin : Ovation of Marcellus. § 16. Laevinus in Sicily : the war ended by 
the desertion of Mutin. § 17. Hannibal surprises Tarentum, and blockades 
the Citadel. § 18. Capua besieged by Fulvius and Appius. § 19. Raised 
by Hannibal : heavy losses sustained by several Roman commanders. § 20. 
Siege of Capua resumed : the place completely invested. §21. Hannibal's 
endeavour to relieve it by a march upon Rome. § 22. Surrender and 
punishment of Capua. § 23. Prospects of Hannibal. § 24. The war in 
Spain : defeat and death of the two Scipios. 

§ 1. The first period of this great war closed with the revolt cf 
Capua. That which now claims our attention ends with the 
recovery of that important city by the Romans. 

After the battle of Canme, Q. Fabius Maximus, great-grandson 
of that Q. Fabius who won so high a name in the Second Sam- 
nite War, became for some years the virtual chief of Senate and 
People. He was already an old man ; more than seventy sum- 
mers had passed over his head. His disposition was so mild or 
so apathetic that he was known by the popular name of Ovicula, 


or the Lamb. His abilities seem not to have been great. His 
merit was that he had the hardihood to avow that the Roman 
militia were no match for Hannibal's veterans, and the courage 
to act on his belief. The cautious system which he had prac- 
tised after the battle of Lake Trasimene had excited discontent ; 
but the great defeat of Cannse had most unhappily vindicated it. 
For some years it was rigorously carried out by commanders 
more skilful in war than Fabius himself. 

Of these coadjutors the ablest was unquestionably M. Claudius 
Marceilus, who was called the Sword of Kome, as Fabius was 
called the Shield. He also was past the middle age, being at 
this time more than fifty. In his first consulship he had distin- 
guished himself bj^ a brilliant victory over the Insubrian Gauls ; 
and his name now stood very high," for having given the first 
check to Hannibal in his career of victory. Marceilus was a 
true Eoman soldier, prompt and bold in action, resolute in ad- 
versity, stern and unyielding in disposition, blunt and illiterate, 
yet not without touches of finer feeling, as was proved at the 
siege of Syracuse. 

With him must be mentioned Tib. Sempronius Gracchus, a 
man of humane and kindly temper, and possessing high talents 
for command. Had he not been cut off so early, he might have 
rivalled the fame of Marceilus. 

Q. Fulvius Flaccus, who, like Marceilus, had already been twice 
Consul, disdained not for the two following years to act as Pra3- 
torof the City. He enjoyed the confidence of Fabius and the 
Senate, and this office gave him, in the continued absence of the 
Consuls, the whole management of the home government. He 
was not iess than sixty years of age, discreet and cautious as 
Fabius himself, but more active, energetic, and relentless. 

§ 2. To carry out the defensive system of war now adopted, 
the two Consuls and a Proconsul were stationed in Campania, 
each with two legions and their auxiliary cohorts. In the pre- 
sent year Fabius took post on the Latin road, between Cales 
and Casilinum ; Gracchus occupied the entrenched camp, which 
had been formed by Marceilus near Sinuessa ; and Marceilus 
himself occupied a similar camp near Nola. Thus these com- 
manders were always ready to harass Capua, and were also able 
to make forays into Samnium, Apulia, and Lucania, whenever 
Hannibal was absent. Their connexion with the sea was main- 
tained by the great seaports of Naples and Cumse. 

Hannibal, on the other hand, formed a strong camp on the 
ridge of Mount Tifata above Capua. But he was often obliged 
to move his forces into the south, leaving the Capuans to defend 
themselves. "We have no means of estimating the amount of 


Hannibal's army : but it may be inferred that it was small ; 
we never find him able to act in force both in Campania and 
in the south. 

§ 3. He soon came in collision with the Consul Gracchus. 
This general was in his camp at Sinuessa, busily employed in 
training two legions of slaves, who, by the name of Volones 
or Volunteers, served under his command. Here he received 
information from the people of Cumse that the Capuans were 
coming to hold a festival near their city, and he was enabled to 
fall upon the Capuans by night, and slaughter a great number. 
The news soon reached Hannibal, who descended from his camp, 
only to find Gracchus safe behind the walls of Cumoe. 

While Gracchus was thus engaged at Cuma3, Fabius had occu- 
pied his camp at Sinuessa, and Marcellus was making forays in 
the Samnite country. The sufferers sent earnest appeals for 
defence to Hannibal, who now appeared a second time before 
the walls of Nola, being induced by some of the popular party, 
which in all the cities was hostile to Rome, to hope that the 
place might be betrayed. But Marcellus made a well-timed sally, 
in which he cut off a large body of the Carthaginian army ; and 
Hannibal, again retiring in disappointment, went into winter- 
quarters at Arpi in Apulia. 

§ 4. Returning spring (214 B.C.) found Hannibal again in his 
camp on Tifata, and the same Roman commanders opposed to 
him. Fabius was still Consul, with Marcellus for his colleague ; 
while Gracchus had taken the place of the latter as Proconsul. 
The circumstance of the election of these Consuls deserves 
noting, because it shows that the people had completely sur- 
rendered their right of free choice into the hands of Fabius. 
The old Consul purposely halted in the Campus Martius, and 
held the election without having entered the city, by which 
means he retained his Imperium. The Prerogative Century, 
which happened to be the Juniors of the Aniene tribe, gave 
their vote for M. iEmilius Regillus and T. Otacilius Crassus. 
Otacilius was a nephew of Fabius, and had served as Praetor in 
command of the fleet during the current year, but without 
much credit. Upon this vote being given, the old Consul 
stopped the proceedings. " The Republic," he said, " was strug- 
gling for existence ; she was maintaining nearly twenty legions ; 
and that with revenues diminished and citizens thinned : what 
was the use of all her exertions if she committed her armies to 
untried men? Therefore," he concluded, "go, Lictor, call back 
the Juniors of the Aniene tribe to give their vote anew." All 
men felt that the old man had not only power, but reason on his 


side. The same Century, which had voted for other men, now 
gave their voices for Fabius himself and Marcellus. 

§ 5. At the same time the Senate gave an earnest of their 
stern determination by passing a decree that the soldiers of 
Canna3 should be sent to serve in Sicily, without hope of honour 
and glory, till the end of the war. And the Censors, in the 
course of this year, summoned before them Metellus and the 
others who had wished to desert the Republic after the defeat of 
Cannaa, and deprived them of their civic rights. 

§ 6. Eaily in this campaign, Hannibal was enticed from Cam- 
pania by a message sent from certain friends whom he had made 
within the walls of Tarentum, and left Hanno to cover Samnium 
and Campania. Hanno seems to have had hopes of surprising 
the Roman colony of Beneventum. But the Proconsul Gracchus 
threw himself into the town; "And now," he told his Slave- 
soldiers, " now the time was come when they might win their 
liberty. Every one who brought in an enemy's head should be 
made free." In the battle which followed, victory was long un- 
determined ; till Gracchus proclaimed that without victory none 
should be enfranchised ; but if they conquered, none should 
remain a slave. Thus the desperate conflict was determined in 
favour of the Romans, and Hanno, after great loss, made good 
his retreat back into the Bruttian territory. Then Gracchus 
fulfilled the promise made to his Volones, and celebrated their 
enfranchisement by a public festival, in which they all appeared 
wearing white caps in token of liberty. So pleased was their 
commander with the scene, that he had a picture painted to 
commemorate it on the walls of the Temple of Liberty on the 
Aventine Hill. 

Hannibal, therefore, had the mortification to hear of this re- 
verse, without the satisfaction of succeeding in his own expe- 
dition. For M. Valerius La3vinus, the Roman Prretor stationed 
at Brundusium, being informed of the plot to betray Tarentum, 
threw a strong garrison into the place under the command of M. 
Livius, and the conspirators could not fulfil their promises. 

§ 7. The next year (213 B.C.) was still less fruitful in decisive 
events than the two foregoing. That is, it was favourable to the 
Romans ; for to Hannibal's cause inaction was fatal. And there 
are not wanting indications to show that the Italians who bad 
joined him began even now to falter in their resolution, and to 
look with fearful eyes to the little progress he had made since 
the battle of Cannee, and to the tenacity with which the Romans 
kept hold of every city. Arpi in Apulia, Hannibal's late winter 
quarters, was betrayed to Fabius the younger, who was now 


Consul, assisted by his father as legate. The 300 Capuan 
knights, who were in the service of Home at the time when 
their city threw itself into Hannibal's arms, had shown their 
disapprobation of this step by enrolling themselves as citizens 
of Rome ; and about this time one hundred and twelve more of 
the same order came in to the Roman camp at Suessula. But 
out of Italy, Hannibal's skilful negotiations had raised up ene- 
mies to Rome wherever his envoys could find an opening — in 
Macedonia, in Sardinia, in Sicily. 

§ 8. It has been mentioned that the first letters of Philip king 
of Macedon to Hannibal had been intercepted by the Romans ; 
and through fear of an attack from this quarter they had sta- 
tioned Laevinus with a fleet at Brundusium. A second embassy 
was more successful, and an alliance was concluded by Hannibal 
with the king, by which the latter bound himself to send an 
auxiliary force to support the Carthaginians in Italy. But 
Lsevinus and his successors carried the war into Epirus, and 
Philip was unable to send the promised succoui's. 
.' § 9. In Sardinia an insurrection broke out in the year after 
Cannae. Q. Fulvius, the City-Prastor, was ordered to provide for 
its suppression, with leave to appoint any commander whom he 
thought fit. He straightway made choice of T. Manlius Tor- 
quatus, a man as stern and uncompromising as himself, who in 
his Consulship twenty years before had first conquered the 
island. The old general landed with little delay, and in one 
decisive battle completely restored Sardinia to subjection. 

§ 10. Affairs in Sicily gave much more trouble. Indeed in 
the years 211 and 212 this island became the chief seat of the 
war, Hiero, the old king of Syracuse, who for fifty years had 
never faltered in his alliance with Rome, died soon after the 
fatal day of Cannae. He was succeeded by his grandson Hiero- 
nymus, a youth of fifteen years of age, whose imagination was 
captivated by the brilliant career of Hannibal. The able Cartha- 
ginian soon availed himself of the opportunity which thus pre- 
sented itself to send over agents, into whose hands the young 
prince completely surrendered himself. These were two brothers 
named Hippocrates and Epicydes, Syracusan Greeks by descent, 
but natives of Carthage. The young king, however, after little 
more than a year's reign, was assassinated by a gang of obscure 
conspirators ; a republic was proclaimed at Syracuse ; and shortly 
after, all the remaining members of the royal family were mas- 
sacred with circumstances of singular atrocity. The question 
now was whether the new government should side with Rome or 
Carthage. The brothers, Hippocrates and Epicydes, at first 
resolved to return to Hannibal ; but they changed their plan, 


and pretending to fall in with the views of the conspirators, 
were elected Generals-in-Chief with several others. Yet the 
popular feeling seems to have inclined towards Rome, and Hip- 
pocrates, unable to control it,, contrived to leave Syracuse with a 
body of troops, and repaired to Leontini, where he was joined 
by his brother Epicydes. They then threw off the mask ; and 
the Leontines declared themselves independent of Syracuse. 

This was probably late in the year 214 B.C. And about that 
time the Consul Marcellus arrived t<3 take the command of the 
army in Sicily. 

§ 11; Marcellus, without delay, laid siege to Leontini, and took 
the town by assault. He did what he could to spare the inha- 
bitants : but he was guilty of a piece of most imprudent severity 
in scourging and putting to death as deserters 2000 of the garri- 
son, who had once been in the service of Rome. It appears that 
there were many soldiers of like condition now in the Syracusan 
army. When they heard of the cruel death of their comrades 
at Leontini, they lent a ready ear to the persuasion of Hippo- 
crates and Epicydes, who had escaped from Leontini, and turned 
the severity of Marcellus to good account. These two adven- 
turers were elected sole Generals, and Syracuse closed her gates 
against Rome. Marcellus made some fruitless attempts at nego- 
tiation ; and finally commenced the siege of Syracuse. 

§ 12. The city of Syracuse had been greatly enlarged since the 
Athenian expedition.* The island of Ortygia had become the 
citadel, and the suburb along the sea-coast, called Achradina, 
was now part of the town. The rugged triangular surface called 
EpipolaG was well fortified, arid its northern approaches, especi- 
ally, were strongly defended by a fort called Hexapylum. 

§ 13. Marcellus at first attempted to take the city by assault. 
He himself attacked the sea-wall of Achradina, while his officers 
attempted to force Hexapylum. The Romans were always 
famous for their skill in the attack and defence of fortifications, 
and Marcellus was well provided with engines of all kinds. But 
within the walls was an engineer more skilful than any the 
Romans possessed. Archimedes, the most celebrated mathema- 
tician of ancient times, was now 75 years old, but age had not 
quenched the inventive vigour of his mind. He was so devoted 
to abstruse calculations that sometimes he forgot even to take 
his meals ; yet speculation had not unfitted him for practical 
pursuits. Marvellous are the stories told of the engines which 
he invented to thwart the assaults of the Romans, both by sea 
and land. The whole wall was armed with ballists and catapults 
of immense power, so that the ships dared not come within 

* See the plan in Dr, Smith's ' History of Greece/ p. 337. 


shot. If they ventured to get close under the walls, favoured by 
the darkness of night, they were galled by a fire from myriads of 
loopholes, and nearly crushed by enormous stones let drop from 
the battlements ; or, one end of the ship was grasped by an 
" iron hand " let down from a projecting crane, which suddenly 
lifted it up, and as suddenly let it go, so that first one end an-d 
then the other was plunged in the water. It is said also that 
burning-glasses of great power were so placed as to set on fire 
ships which approached within their reach. This is probably a 
fiction. But this much is certain, that Marcellus was compelled 
to desist from his assault, and began to blockade it by regular 
lines of circumvallation. After many months the Romans were 
as far from taking Syracuse as ever. 

Meantime, the Roman cause was daily losing ground in Sicily. 
Even Murgantia, the head-quarters of the fleet, surrendered to 
Carthage; and Enna, a strong fortress, was only saved by the 
prompt cruelty of the Commandant, who massacred the whole 
of its inhabitants. But this barbarous act, though efficacious on 
the spot, served still more to alienate the Sicilians from Rome. 
Agrigentum surrendered, and numerous other towns threw off 
the yoke. 

§ 14. But there was treason within the walls of Syracuse. 
Marcellus at length succeeded in scaling the walls of Hexapylum 
by night, when by reason of a festival they were left unguarded. 
He soon gained possession of the whole upper city ; and as he 
gazed from the heights of Epipola3 on the fair view beneath him, 
even his rude nature was so affected by the beauty of the scene and 
the greatness of his success, that he burst into a flood of tears. 
The southern quarters of the town surrendered ; but Epicydes, 
within Achradina, prepared for a desperate defence ; and Hip- 
pocrates, who had gone to obtain succours from Carthage, soon 
returned with a* considerable force. But Marcellus lay safe 
within the Upper City, and the army of Hippocrates, encamped 
on the marshy ground at the mouth of the Anapus, was thinned 
by disease as the hot weather came on : among the dead was 
Hippocrates himself. Still the sea was open, and a fleet was 
daily expected from Carthage. At length it came in view ; but 
the Roman squadron put out to meet it ; and .great was the 
disappointment of Epicydes, when he saw the Carthaginians 
bear away towards Italy. He left the city secretly and fled to 

Many of the garrison were deserters from the Romans, who 
could expect little mercy from the severe Marcellus. But the 
rest, when they found themselves deserted by their General, 
slew their officers, and admitted Marcellus by night within the 


walls of Achradina. Next morning, the city was given up to 
plunder ; and in the massacre which followed, Archimedes was 
slain by a soldier, whose question he did not answer, being 
absorbed in a geometrical problem. For the honour of Mar- 
cellus, it should be recorded that he was deeply grieved by this 
mischance, that he gave honourable burial to the corpse of the 
philosopher, and showed great kindness to his relations. The 
royal treasure was reserved for the State ; and the exquisite 
works of the Grecian chisel which adorned the splendid city 
were sent to Rome ; a beginning of that system of plunder 
which enriched Rome at the expense of Greece. 

§ 15. Thus fell Syracuse, in the summer of 212 B.C., after a 
siege of nearly two years. But though Syracuse was taken, Sicily 
was not conquered. It will be well to anticipate events a little, 
so as to finish our narrative of this war in this place. 

Epicydes, who had escaped to Agrigentum, continued his 
ceaseless activity, and persuaded the Carthaginian Government 
to send out another large force to his aid. Hannibal also sent 
over an officer named Mutin or Mutton, who henceforth became 
the soul of the war in Sicily. This man was a half-bred Car- 
thaginian : and the African blood in his veins degraded him as 
much in the eyes of pure Carthaginians, as the taint of black 
blood degrades a man in the United States. But his abilities as 
a soldier made Hannibal overlook vain distinctions, and Mutin 
took the command of the Numidian Horse in the army of Hanno 
and Epicydes. With such skill did he use this formidable 
cavalry, that Marcellus rather lost ground than gained it. But 
the Carthaginian officers, jealous of the upstart commander, 
took occasion to give battle to the Romans during his absence. 
Marcellus accepted the challenge, and gained a signal victory 

(211 B.C.). 

§ 16. In the next year (210 b.c.) Valerius Lsevinus took the 
command in Sicily, where Mutin still continued to defy the 
Romans. But the jealousy of the Carthaginians so provoked 
the hot-blooded African, that he put himself at the head of his 
faithful Numidians, and threw open the gates of Agrigentum 
to the Roman Consul. Epicydes escaped to Carthage, leaving 
the army an easy prey to the Roman Legions. The town was 
sacked and plundered, and the inhabitants reduced to slavery. 
And in a short time Lsevinus was able to send despatches to the 
Senate, reporting the entire submission of all Sicily. Mutin was 
made a Roman citizen, and received 500 jugera of State-land. 
His Numidian horse took service with Rome. 

§ 17. It is now time to return to Italy, where also the war 
had resumed a more active form. Early in 212 b.c. Hannibal 


once more marched southward to Tarentum, and this time with 
better success than before. He encamped at a distance of about 
three miles, and was constantly visited by two young Greeks, 
who left the city under pretence of hunting. It was by the 
landward side that the conspirators proposed to admit Han- 
nibal ; and the time they chose was a night on which it was 
well known that M. Livius, the Commandant, would be engaged 
in a drinking-bout. The Romans went to bed in drunken 

. security, and at daybreak found the city in the hands of the 
Carthaginians. Great part of the garrison were put to the 
sword ; but Livius made good his escape to the Citadel, 
Hannibal immediately took measures for besieging it ; and 
the Tarentines, having dragged their ships over-land from 
the harbour into the open sea, blockaded it both by sea and 

§ 18. Meanwhile the Consuls — Appius Claudius and old Q. 
Fulvius Flaccus — were preparing to besiege Capua. Gracchus, 
with his Volones, was stationed at Lucania ; one Prsetor, Clau- 
dius Nero, occupied the old camp at Suessula ; another Cn. 

' Fulvius, brother of the Consul, lay in Apulia. The Capuans, 
fearing they should be cut off from all supplies, sent a hasty 
message to Hauuibal at Tarentum : and he straightway sent 
orders to provision the town, in case it should be besieged. 
But Hanno, who was charged with this difficult task, being 
attacked by the Consuls near Beneventum, was obliged to retire 
into Bruttii, and leave Capua to its fate. 

§ 19. The Roman armies now began to close round that de- 
voted city. But they were destined to suffer heavy losses 
before they were able to invest it. First, Gracchus, who was 
coming northwards from Lucania to reinforce the Consuls, was 
slain in an ambuscade, and his Volones, so long faithful to their 
favourite leader, dispersed and fled, each man to his own home. 
Next, Hannibal himself once more appeared in Campania. He 
had already sent Mago with a division of cavalry to encourage 
the Capuans ; and now he entered the city in person without 
the knowledge of the Consuls. He was in high spirits at his 
successes in the South. Not only Tarentum, but also Meta- 
pontum and Thurii, had joined him ; and though Syracuse had 
fallen, the war was raging fiercely in Sicily. But the Roman 
Commanders were cautious :• and Hannibal, finding he could not 
bring on a battle, was anxious to return to press the siege of the 
citadel of Tarentum. He went by way of Lucania, and on his 
route met a Roman army, commanded by M. Centenius, an old 
centurion, who had collected an army, and with equal courage 
and folly attempted to bar Hannibal's march. He fell as a 


valiant soldier should fall ; and many thousand brave men paid 
the penalty of trusting to his promises. Hannibal now passed 
the mountains into Apulia ; and here, near Herdonea, he sur- 
prised the Prsetor, Cn. Fulvius. He was like Centenius in rash- 
ness, but unlike him in being a profligate and a coward. In this 
action, also, many thousand Romans were cut to pieces. 

§ 20. But notwithstanding these thick-coming losses, the 
Consuls held to their resolution .of blockading Capua. No 
sooner was Hannibal's back turned than they again appeared 
before the city ; and before the expiration of the year the lines 
of circumvallation were completed. The armies of Rome always 
contained good workmen ; their common agricultural habits 
accustomed them to the use of the spade ; the great works that 
had for some time been going on, roads and aqueducts, had 
trained a number of men for military work. Yet the rapidity 
with which the vast extent of lines necessary to enclose a great 
city like Capua was completed, cannot but surprise us. These 
lines were secured by a double wall, and care was taken to supply 
the besiegers with provisions. 

§ 21. The Consuls for the next year (211 b.c.) were not allowed 
to supersede Appius and Fulvius : to them was left the glory of 
completing well what they had well begun. 

When the Capuans found themselves blockaded, their spirits 
fell, and they again sent an urgent message to Hannibal. In 
an assault upon the Roman lines, he was beaten off with loss. 
And now only one hope remained. It was possible that, if he 
threatened Rome itself, the besieging army might be recalled to 
defend the capital. Accordingly, he sent the Capnans notice 
of his purpose by means of a pretended deserter, and the next 
morning the Proconsuls saw his camp on Mount Tifata empty. 
They thought, probably, that he had returned to the South. 
But they soon discovered the truth from country people, who 
came in full of horror to tell that Hannibal's wild Numidians 
and monstrous elephants were in full route for Rome. Fulvius 
sent word to the Senate of this fearful visitation ; and the 
opinion of Fabius was unanimously adopted, that one of the 
Proconsuls should be recalled to defend the city with part of his 
army and the City Legions, while the other was left to maintain 
the blockade of Capua. Accordingly, Fulvius marched straight 
to Rome by the Appian road, while Hannibal took a circuitous 
route by the north, to avoid the thick-studded cities which 
might have barred his passage. Fulvius, therefore, arrived at 
Rome before Hannibal, and encamped within a mile or two 
of the city. The consternation at Rome was in some measure 
quelled by the arrival of Fulvius ; and still more, when. Han- 


nibal himself, after riding up to the Colline gate, and then 
skirting the walls, was attacked by the old Proconsul, and 
obliged to fall back upon his camp. It is said, that while he lay 
there, the land occupied by his camp was put up to sale and 
bought at a price not at all below its value, Hannibal laughed, 
and bade an auctioneer put up the silversmiths' shops in the 
Forum for sale. But though he put a bold face upon the matter, 
he felt in his* heart that he had failed. Rome was able to defend 
herself, and yet had left a sufficient force at Capua to continue 
the blockade. 

The line of his retreat is as uncertain as that of his advance. 
It is known, however, that he conducted his army through 
Apulia into Bruttii, which became henceforth his head-quarters 
in Italy. 

§ 22. Meantime, Fulvius had returned to the lines round 
Capua, full of exultation. Time wore on, and famine began to 
oppress the wretched inhabitants. How long the desperate 
resistance was prolonged we know not. But at length it ap- 
peared manifest that surrender must ensue within a few hours ; 
upon which Vibius Virrius, one of the insurgent chiefs, gave 
a splendid banquet to all Senators who would partake of it. 
Twenty-seven came, and when the feast was over, a poisoned 
cup went round, in which the guests pledged their host. They 
went home to die ; and next morning the city was surrendered. 
The savage old Fulvius determined to wreak a bloody vengeance 
upon the leaders of the insurgents. Five-and-twenty were sent 
to Cales, to Teanum eight-and-twenty, there to await their 
doom. In vain Appius pleaded for milder measures. Fulvius 
heeded no intercession. On the morning after the capture, he 
rode in person to Teanum, and saw all the prisoners beheaded. 
He then galloped off to Cales ; but when the prisoners there 
were being bound, a messenger from Rome brought him letters 
from the Senate. He put them into his bosom, and ordered the 
executions to proceed ; nor till all the heads bad fallen, did he 
open the letters, which contained orders to reserve the prisoners 
for the judgment of the Senate. Others of the chief men were 
imprisoned, and all the commoner sort were sold into slavery. 
The city itself was confiscated to Rome. 

§ 23. The fall of Syracuse and Cajma had given a decided 
superiority to the Roman arms. Yet, though Hannibal was at 
present so weak that he could not leave the South, nor give 
effectual succour to his Campanian allies, there were many 
causes to give him hopes of retrieving, his fortunes. The diver- 
sion made by Mutin in Sicily had proved most successful, and 


it was not till a year later that the cause of Carthage in that 
island was betrayed. Though the Citadel of Tarentum stili 
held out, that great city itself, with all Magna Grecia, except 
Rhegium, had joined Hannibal; and he lived in hope that at 
length Philip of Macedon would come over to oppose the com- 
mon enemy. 

§ 24, Now also he looked with confidence to Spain. For a 
long time the successes of the Scipios had cut off all hope of 
succour from his brother Hasdrubal. These successes con- 
tinued, notwithstanding the arrival of Mago with reinforcements 
from Carthage ; many of the Celtiberian tribes enlisted under 
their banners, eager to try a change of masters ; Syphax, a 
Prince of the Numidians, formed an alliance with them, and 
they seemed thus early to have formed the design of carrying 
the war into Africa, In the year 212 B.C., the same which 
witnessed the fall of Syracuse and the investment of Capua, the 
two brothers entertained high hopes of a successful campaign. 
Cn. Scipio marched against Hasdrubal, the brother of Hannibal ; 
Publius directed his course against a second Carthaginian army, 
under Mago. But the Celtiberians in the army of Cnseus de- 
serted : and the Roman Proconsul was in full retreat, when he 
heard that his brother Publius had been surprised and slain 
with a great portion of his army. The united Carthaginian 
armies now threw themselves on the retreating army of Cn. 
Scipio. He fell fighting bravely, with most of his officers. The 
remains of the Roman armies were collected by a brave knight, 
by name L. Marcius. But for the time the defeat and death of 
the two Scipios gave back to the Carthaginians all that they had 
lost in Spain since the departure of Hannibal. 

The road now lay open for Hasdrubal to lead a large force 
to the assistance of his r brother in Italy. Notwithstanding his 
losses, no Roman General had dared to meet him in a fair field 
of battle since Cannae. What migh¥ he not hope when largely 
reinforced ? It belongs to the history of the next period to show 
how irremediably these hopes were blighted. " ^* 

Coin of an Acilius, with Triumphal Car. 



| i. Depressed state of Rome. § 2. Renewed Discontent with the Fabian 
system : Election of Consuls for 210 B.C. § 3. M. Valerius Lsevinus. 
§ 4. Immense armies kept on foot : Financial measures. § 5. Caution of 
Marcel 1 us. § 6. Lsevinus : quarrel with the Senate. § 7. Twelve of the 
Thirty Latin Colonies refuse any longer to contribute to the war. § 8. 
Tarentum recovered from Hannibal by Fabins. §9. Dissatisfaction. §10. 
^Jarcellus killed. §11. His colleague Crispinus only lives long enough to 
name a Dictator: apprehensions of HasdrubaFs invasion. § 12. M. 
Claudius Nero and M. Living Salinator elected Consuls for 207 B.C., to 
meet Hasdrubal. § 13. March of Hasdrubal : his delay at Placentia. 
§ 14. His despatches to Hannibal intercepted : Nero marches to join Livius 
in Umbria. § 15. Hasdrubal retreats : overtaken by the Romans on the 
Metaurus. § 16. Battle of the Metaurns. § 17. Joy at Rome. § 18. 
Grief of Hannibal : he retires into the Bruttian territory. § 19. Triumph 
of the Consuls : the first since the beo-inninsj of the War. 

§ 1. The last year's campaign was full of heavy discouragement 
to the Romans. Syracuse had been taken ; but Sicily remained 
in full revolt. Capua had fallen ; but Tarentum, all except the 
citadel, was lost. The unmolested march of Hannibal to the 
walls of Rome showed that no part of Italy save the fortified 
towns and entrenched camps could be called their own, so long 
as the Carthaginian General could lead his wild and lawless mer- 
cenaries whithersoever he pleased. The loss of Spain had placed 
before them the dreadful possibility that their great enemy might 
soon be reinforced by numbers so large as to make him stronger 
than he had been since he crossed the Alps. 
• § 2. It is evident that mutterings of discontent were beginning 
to arise against Fabius and his friends. The bitter lesson of 
Cannoe had taught the Romans the necessity of caution, and 
proved that, to act with success against Hannibal, they must act 
on the defensive. But was this system to last for ever ? Were 
home. N 


they never to meet Hannibal in the field ? Thoughts like these, 
no doubt, suggested the experiment of electing a popular Consul 
for the year 210 B.C. When the votes of the Prerogative Century 
were taken, it appeared that the men of their choice were old 
T. Manlius Torquatus, the conqueror of Sardinia, and that same 
T. Otacilius who had been ousted from his Consulship five years 
before by his uncle Fabius. But Manlius immediately rose and 
declined the Consulship: "he was," he said, "old and nearly 
blind : a general should be able to use his own eyes. They must 
choose other and better men." The Century, after some hesita- 
tion, obeyed, and gave one of their votes for Marcellus, as no 
doubt Fabius and the Senate wished, while they bestowed the 
other upon M. Valerius Laevinus, who had served the State well 
in Epirus. 

§ 3. Valerius probably owed his choice to the fact that he 
was not disposed to submit to Fabius and Fulvius. An oppor- 
tunity soon arose for showing this. As he passed through Capua 
on his way to Rome, the Campanians, smarting under the rule of 
Fulvius, besought him to let them follow in his train, that they 
might lay their grievances before the Senate ; and when he 
arrived at Rome, he was greeted by a deputation of Sicilians, 
who had heard with alarm that the imperious Marcellus was 
about to return to their island with Consular authority. The 
affairs of both peoples were brought before the Senate. As to 
the Campanians, the Fathers confirmed in all respects the stern 
edicts of Fulvius ; and not unjustly, for of all cities Capua 
had been most generously treated by Rome : her rebellion had 
been prompted, not by love of liberty (for she was already 
free), but by lust for power. Capua, therefore, now became a 
Prefecture. On the other hand, Marcellus at once gave up his 
Sicilian province to his colleague Lsevinus, and agreed to take 
the command in Italy against Hannibal ; and the Senate, though 
they ratified the previous measures of Marcellus, now recom- 
mended the Sicilians to the special care of Laevinus. Upon this, 
the Sicilian Envoys, fearing the future anger of Marcellus, fell at 
his feet and entreated him to take them as his clients. For 
many years the Marcelli, his descendants, are found as patrons 
and protectors of the island. 

§ 4. Before the Consuls took the field, they were called upon 
to meet the financial difficulties under which the state was 
labouring. The force which had been maintained by Rome now 
for many years was very large, and the cost enormous. The 
number of Legions kept on foot since the battle of Cannse had 
averaged about twenty ; so that the'number of soldiers, legiona- 
ries and allied, amounted to nearly 200,000 men. While the 


expenditure was thus prodigiously increased, the revenues were 
greatly diminished : and it is a recorded fact, that about this 
time corn had risen to many times its ordinary price. Although 
the imposts had been doubled early in the war, the state was 
obliged to contract loans in various ways. An extraordinary 
measure was taken for manning the fleets. All citizens, except 
the poor, were required to furnish one or more seamen, with six 
months' pay and their full accoutrements. Senators were called 
upon to equip eight, and the rest in proportion to their rated 
property. Such was the Eoman " Ship-money." 

The necessities of the present year (210 B.C.) were greater 
than ever. Every resource seemed to be exhausted. Among 
other means, the coinage had been gradually lowered in value. 
The As, which had originally been a pound weight, of copper, 
had now been diminished to one-sixth of that weight ; and all 
payments for the Treasury were no doubt made in this depre- 
ciated coinage. The usual results of such measures had followed. 
A temporary relief was gained." But the prices of all articles 
were raised to meet the change, and public credit was shaken. 

In these difficulties, the Senate proposed again to levy ship- 
money. But the people were in no mood to bear it. They had 
been much impoverished in the last four years ; continued 
increase of taxation had drained their resources ; continued 
service in the army had prevented the proper cultivation of their 
lands ; the marauding march of Hannibal in the year before had 
ruined many. The ferment caused by this new impost assumed 
a formidable appearance. The Senate met to deliberate, and 
the Consul L^vinus proposed that the great Council should set 
an example of patriotic devotion. " Let us," said he, £{ con- 
tribute all our treasure for the service of the State. Let us 
reserve — of gold, only our rings, the bullae worn by our sons, and 
for the ornaments of our wives and daughters one ounce apiece, — 
of silver, the trappings of our horses, the family salt-cellar, and 
a small vessel for the service of the Gods, — of copper, five thou- 
sand pounds for the necessities of each family." The proposal 
was carried by acclamation, and the noble example followed 
emulously by all the people. So eager was the throng which 
pressed to the Treasury, that the clerks were unable to make a 
full register of the names. This Patriotic Loan (for it was in- 
tended that it should be repaid hereafter) saved the State ; and 
it was even more valuable in the spirit which it called forth, than 
for the actual relief which it afforded to the Treasury. 

§ 5. The Consuls now took the field. Marcellus arrived in 
Samnium only to hear that Cn. Fulvius Centumalus, the last 
year's Consul, had shared the fate of his namesake and pre- 

n 2 


decessor, Cn. Fulvius Flaccus, and had been cut off with the 
greater part of his army. The relics of this force were sent to 
be added to the remains of the army of Cannae, which the relent- 
less Senate still kept in banishment in Sicily. Marcellus cau- 
tiously advanced to Venusia, and so dogged Hannibal's footsteps 
that he was unable to strike another blow. The town of Salapia 
in Apulia, where lived a lady whom Hannibal loved too well, and 
who is said to have more than once detained him from the field, 
was betrayed to Marcellus, as Arpi had been to Fulvius, and was 
another example of the altered feeling of the Italians. 

§ 6. Lsevinus, as has above been mentioned, was enabled by a 
stroke of good luck to finish the war in Sicily with ease and 
credit ; and he returned to Rome accompanied by the redoubt- 
able Mutin. Before he left Sicily he had sent over his fleet to 
examine the coasts of Africa. The officer despatched on this 
service learnt that the Carthaginian Government were actively 
engaged in collecting troops to be placed under Hasdrubal's com- 
mand for a second invasion of Italy from the North ; and he 
immediately forwarded this intelligence to the Consul at Eome. 
The Senate in alarm ordered Lsevinus to return instantly to his 
province without waiting to preside at the Comitia. He was to 
name a Dictator for that purpose ; and the person submitted to 
him for nomination was old Q. Fulvius, the Governor of Capua. 
Leevinus, however, refused to name his personal enemy ; upon 
which the ruling party referred the matter to the People, who 
peremptorily ordered the Consul to name Fulvius, and no one 
else. But Lsevinus, to avoid this necessity, had already left 
Eome ; and the Fathers were obliged to send for Marcellus to 
execute their orders. When the old Dictator held the Comitia, 
the Prerogative Tribe gave its vote for Fulvius himself and 
Fabius. An objection was taken by two of the Tribunes, that a 
presiding magistrate could not allow himself to be elected. But 
this, like many other ordinances, was overruled at this critical 
season by the Senate, and the election proceeded. The next 
year was to-see Hannibal confronted with the three men reputed 
to be the ablest commanders in Rome, Fabius and Fulvius the 
Consuls, and Marcellus as Proconsul. It was hoped that by their 
united efforts the enemy might be crushed before the arrival of 
Hasdrubal and his Spaniards. 

§ 7. But the result was not equal to expectation. In the very 
outset of this year (209 B.C.) the levies were delayed by a cir- 
cumstance which looked even more threatening than the financial 
difficulties of the previous year. The Latin Colonies, now Thirty 
in number, have been mentioned as the chief stays of Roman 
power in the subject districts of Italy. They had hitherto borne 


the toils and expenses of the war unrepiningly. What then was 
the alarm of the Consuls and the Senate, when Twelve of the 
Thirty openly declined to comply with the requisition to furnish 
their contingents for the armies of this year. The refusal was 
due in part no doubt to exhaustion and poverty ; but it was 
partly caused by anger at the fact, that most of the defeated 
soldiers of Centumalus lately banished to Sicily were citizens of 
their towns. The Consuls endeavoured to reason with them, 
but m vain ; and when the deputies of the other Eighteen Colo- 
nies, which comprised all the largest and most important places, 
declared their stedfast and unaltered allegiance, they determined 
to pass the matter over for the present, saying that they would 
not deign to ask assistance from those w T ho would not give it 
vv T illingly. 

To provide for the current expenses, a large treasure of gold, 
which had been reserved for the emergency of another Gallic 
war, was now first invaded. 

§ 8. Fulvius resumed his station at Capua ; Marcellus was to 
engage Hannibal's attention in Apulia, while old Fabius made 
an attempt to recover Tarentum. Marcellus found his enemy 
at Canusium ; and a series of indecisive actions followed, in 
which (although the Roman annalists claim the advantage for 
their -hero) it is plain that he must have suffered greatly ; for 
he remained* inactive during the rest of the campaign. But 
fortunately for Fabius' attempt upon Tarentum, Hannibal's pre- 
sence was required in Bruttii to defend his allies from a band 
of Free Mercenaries, who, formerly in the service of the Car- 
thaginians in Sicily, had now been engaged by Loevinus, and 
sent to Rhegium to harass their old masters. The appearance 
of the great General was enough to scare these marauders into 
submission ; but scarcely was this done, when he heard the 
news that Fabius had invested Tarentum. Instantly he put his 
army in motion, and marched day and night to relieve this im- 
portant city. But he was too late. By treachery he had won 
the place, and by treachery he lost it. The officer in command 
at Tarentum was a Bruttian. This man had a mistress, sister to 
an Italian serving in the army of Fabius : she it w r as who per- 
suaded him to open the gates to the Consul ; and Hannibal, 
while yet upon his march, heard this disastrous news. The old 
Consul gave up the despised city of the Greeks to be plundered 
by his soldiers, reserving the public treasure for the service of 
the State. But when he was asked whether he would have the 
statues and works of art taken to Rome, after the example set 
by Marcellus at Syracuse, " No/' he said, "let the Tarentines 
keep their angry gods." The capture of Tarentum was the 


greatest exploit of Fabius, and it was his last ; an honourable 
close to an honourable career. 

Besides the recovery of Tarentum, the Samnites and Luca- 
nians, long wavering, again returned to their allegiance, and 
were restored by Fulvius to their position as allies, without any 
notice being taken of their revolt. 

§ 9. Notwithstanding this, men were dissatisfied with the 
result of the campaign. Three consular armies had not sufficed 
to defeat Hannibal ; Marcellus, reputed their best general, had 
done nothing. But the party who murmured against Fabius and 
his friends were as yet feeble. Yery lately Lsevinus had been 
compelled to relinquish his opposition ; and when Marcellus 
appeared to give a narrative of his services, all men's hearts were 
turned, and not only was he forgiven freely, but was even elected 
Consul for the ensuing year (208 B.C.). His colleague was T. 
Quinctius Crispinus, who had served under him in Sicily. 

§ 10. The defection of the Italians had no doubt weakened 
Hannibal, and the two Consuls determined to throw themselves 
upon him with their conjoint force. They found him near 
Venusia, and every day they drew out their forces before his 
camp and offered him battle. But the odds were too great even 
for Hannibal, and he kept close within his entrenchments. It 
happened that between his camp and that of the Consuls-there 
was a hill, which Marcellus thought it desirably to occupy. 
Accordingly he rode up to the top, accompanied by his colleague 
and a small detachment of cavalry, unconscious that a large 
bod}^ of Numidian horse were lurking in the woods below. In a 
moment the Consuls were surrounded. Marcellus was run 
through by the spear of one of these wild horsemen, and fell 
dead from his horse ; Crispinus escaped mortally wounded to 
his camp. As soon as Hannibal heard of this great stroke of 
good luck, he hastened to the scene of conflict, and saw with 
his own eyes his ablest antagonist lying dead before him. His 
conduct proved the true nobility of his nature. He showed no 
triumph ; but simply drew the gold ring from the dead man's 
finger, saying : " There lies a good soldier, but a bad general." 
He then ordered the corpse to receive a soldier's burial. Like 
his father Hamilcar, he warred not with the dead, but with the 

§ 11. Great was the consternation at Rome when intelligence 
of this untoward event arrived. The Consul Crispinus lived just 
long enough to be carried in a litter to Capua, where he was on 
Boman ground, and could therefore execute the command of the 
Senate to name a Dictator. He named old Manlius Torquatus. 
But no attempt was made to molest Hannibal again this year. 


Torquatus only exercised his office in holding Comitia for the 
election of new Consuls. The occasion was a grave one. Never 
before, since the beginning of the Republic, had she been bereft 
of both her Consuls at one blow. But in order to understand 
the full importance of the choice now to be made, it must be 
mentioned that Hasdrubal, the brother of Hannibal, had already 
set out upon his march from Spain, and in a short time might 
be expected to arrive in Italy, 

. All notice of the Spanish war since the death of the two 
Scipios has purposely been deferred. Here it will be enough to 
say, that soon after that event, the Senate, well understanding 
the importance of maintaining the war in Spain, had endeavoured 
to retrieve their losses in that quarter; and in 211 B.C. young 
P. Scipio, the hero of the latter part of the war, had accepted the 
dangerous command left vacant by his father and uncle. In the 
next chapter notice will be taken of his splendid successes 
during the three years which had passed. But these successes 
had not served to divert Hasdrubal from his purpose. This 
general had collected an army of tried soldiers, which he skilfully 
carried through the heart of Spain, and, crossing the Pyrenees 
near Bayonne, entered Gaul by the pass which is now threaded 
by the high road from Paris to Madrid. By this dexterous 
movement he eluded the vigilance of the Romans, who knew not 
whither he was gone. But towards the close of the present year 
news came from the friendly people of Marseilles, to the effect 
that Hasdrubal had arrived in Aquitania, and intended wintering 
in Gaul, as the season was too far advanced for the safe passage 
of the Alps. 

Such were the grave circumstances under which Torquatus 
summoned the people to elect Consuls for the year 207 B.C. 

§12. It might have been thought, that the ablest Patrician to 
be, found was M. Valerius Laevinus, who was still in Sicily. Not 
only had he restored that Province to order, but had laid in large 
stores of provisions for the Italian armies, and had assisted in 
other ways in lightening the expenses of the war. But the 
Senate distrusted him : they had not forgotten the contumacious 
way in which he had quitted Rome, rather than name a Dictator 
at their bidding. They therefore turned their eyes on M. Clau- 
dius Nero, a man of known energy, who had served now for 
many years under Fulvius and Marcellus. He had been sent to 
Spain at the first news of the disasters there, and remained in 
command till the appointment of young Scipio. All men agreed 
that Nero should be the Patrician Consul. But who was to be 
his Plebeian colleague ? Marcellus was dead, and Gracchus was 
dead ; and Fulvius was nearly as old as Fabius. At length it was 


resolved to choose M. Livius Salinator, a man who was also well 
stricken in years, for he had been Consul with iEmilius Paullus 
in the year before Hannibal's invasion, and had triumphed with 
him over the Illyrians. But he had been accused of unfair 
division of the spoil taken in that lllyrian war, and had been 
condemned to pay a fine by the vote of all the Tribes, save one. 
Indignant at an unjust sentence, he had withdrawn to his estate 
in the country, and had only lately reappeared in the Senate at 
the command of the Censors, but when there, he sat in moody 
silence, till at length he started up to speak in defence of his 
kinsman Livius, the commandant of Tarentum, who was accused 
of having lost that city. On this occasion Fabius' conduct had 
not been conciliatory. For when it was urged in defence of the 
accused that he had mainly assisted in recovering the city, 
Fabius drily remarked, that "he did not wish to condemn 
Livius : certainly he had assisted in recovering Tarentum, for 
if he had not lost it, it would not have been recovered at all." 
These recollections rankled in the heart of the old Senator; he 
refused the proffered Consulship ; and when he yielded, it was 
to the command, rather than the entreaty of the Fathers. But 
one difficulty remained. The cross-grained old man was at feud 
with his colleague Nero ; and when friends tried to reconcile 
them, he replied that " he saw no occasion for it : if they 
remained enemies, they would keep a keener watch for each 
other's faults." At last he gave way, and before they took the 
field the Consuls were in perfect agreement. 

They hastened early in the year to their respective stations, 
Nero to take the command in Southern Italy, against the feeble 
a,rmy of Hannibal ; Livius to Ariminum on the frontier of Cis- 
alpine Gaul, to await the arrival of Hasdrubal. 

§ 13. As soon a^ the season permitted, Hasdrubal advanced 
from his winter-quarters to the passage of the Alps. He avoided 
the coast-road taken by his brother, and passed through the 
country of the Arvernians (who have left their name in French 
Auvergne), and thus came straight to the point where the Rhone 
and Isere meet, so as to take the same route over the mountains 
which had been pursued by his brother eleven years before. 
The time of year was favourable : in the period which had 
elapsed the Gauls had become better acquainted w 7 ith the Car- 
thaginians ; and Hasdrubal achieved his passage into Italy with 
little loss or difficulty. He straightway marched through the 
plains of Cisalpine Gaul to the banks of the Po, where the Roman 
colony of Placentia, one of the eighteen lately found faithful, had 
before defied the arms of Hannibal. Hannibal had not wasted 
time in assailing this town ; but Hasdrubal probably wished to 


oblige the Gauls, whom he expected to .swell the numbers of his 
army. For hitherto they had not given Hannibal much assist- 
ance. In the eventful year of Cannae they had cut off the Consul- 
elect Postumius, and still drank mead out of his skull. But since 
then they had remained quiet ; and Varro, with a single Legion 
at Ariminum, had sufficed to watch them. And now they seem 
to have given Hasdrubal indifferent support, so that the time he 
spent at Placentia must have been nearly thrown away. 

§ 14. Before he left his lines at Placentia, he sent off six 
couriers, four Gauls and two Numidians, to inform his brother 
of his intended route. Hannibal, meantime, had been constantly 
on the move, — marching from Bruttii into Lucania, from Lu- 
cania into Apulia, from Apulia again into Bruttii, and then once 
more back into Apulia. We cannot but admire the skill with 
which he eluded Nero, who pursued him with a double army of 
four Legions. Yet it was one of these marches that accidentally 
proved the ruin of his cause. The couriers despatched by Has- 
drubal from Placentia made their way into Apulia, but unfor- 
tunately arrived just when Hannibal was absent in Bruttii. They 
attempted to follow him, but missed their way, and fell into the 
hands of the Praitor stationed on the Tarentine frontier. That 
officer immediately sent off the despatches found upon them to 
Nero at Canusium. An interpreter was procured, and the whole 
plan of the enemy's campaign was revealed to the Consul. Has- 
drubal told his brother that he intended to advance along the 
Adriatic, by way of Ariminum, and proposed that they should 
join forces in IJmbria, in order to march upon Rome. Nero's 
determination was soon taken. Legally, he had no power to 
quit his district in Southern Italy, but in this emergency he 
' resolved to set all forms at defiance. He picked out 6000 foot 
and 1000 horse, the flower of his army, and gave out that he 
would march at nightfall on a secret expedition into Lucania. 
As soon as it was dark, he set out ; but the soldiers soon dis- 
covered that Lucania was not their destination. They were 
marching northwards towards Picenum, and they found that 
provisions and beasts of burden were ready for them all along 
the road, by the Consul's orders. As soon as he was well ad- 
vanced upon his march, he addressed his men, and told them 
that "in a few days they would join their countrymen under 
Livius in his camp at Sena Gallica in Umbria ; that combined 
they would intercept Hasdrubal and his invading army ; that 
victory* was certain ; that the chief share of the glory would be 
theirs." The men answered such an address as soldiers should ; 
and everywhere, as they passed, the inhabitants came out to 
ineet them, pressing upon them clothes, victuals, horses, all, and 

n 3 


more than all that they could want. In a week's time they 
accomplished a distance of about 250 miles, and found them- 
selves within a short distance of Sena. Nero halted till it was 
dark, that he might enter his colleague's camp unperceived by 

§ 15. Nero had previously written to the Senate, informing 
them of his march, and urging them to throw forward a strong 
force to defend the defile through which the Flaminian road 
passes at Narnia, in case the Consuls should be beaten by Has- 
drubal. Answers had reached him, fully approving his bold 
design, and promising all support. It was, therefore, with full 
confidence that he entered his colleague's camp, and beheld the 
watch-fires of Hasdrubal at not more than half a mile's distance 
in front. His men were warmly greeted by their comrades, and 
received within the camp of Livius, that Hasdrubal might not 
observe the increase of the army. After one day's rest, Nero 
urged immediate action, lest his absence from Apulia might be 
discovered by Hannibal, or his presence in Umbria by Hasdrubal. 
Accordingly, the two legions of Livius, the two commanded by 
the Praetor Porcius, together with Nero's troops, drew out before 
Hasdrubal's camp and offered battle. The experienced eye of 
the Carthaginian was struck by an apparent increase of numbers ; 
and his suspicions were confirmed, when he heard the trumpet 
sound twice in the Consuls' lines. This convinced him that 
Nero had joined his colleague, and full of anxious fear as to the 
fate of his brother, he determined to retreat under cover of 
night ; and when the next day broke, Hasdrubal's camp was 
found deserted. Orders were given to pursue. The Romans 
came up with the Carthaginian army on the banks of the Me- 
taurus, about twelve or fourteen miles north of. their former 
position. The river was swollen by rains, so that the Carthagi- 
nians could not pass it except at certain places ; and, their guides 
having deserted them, they could not find the fords. Hasdrubal, 
therefore, was obliged to give battle with the river in his rear. 

§ 16. On the side of the Romans, Nero commanded on the 
right and Livius on the left, the centre being under the charge 
of the Praytor Porcius. Hasdrubal, with his Spanish veterans, 
stood opposed to Livius, while his Gallic allies confronted Nero ; 
and his centre, covered by a corps of elephants, was formed of 
the Ligurians who had taken service in his army. 

The battle began along the whole line at once. In the centre, 
the elephants were wounded, and running furiously about, 
trampled down friends and foes alike. On the left, Nero found 
the Gauls strongly posted ; and leaving the greater part of his 
troops to hold them in check 5 he passed by the Roman rear with 


some chosen cohorts, and fell upon the right flank of Hasdrubal's 
command. This bold manoeuvre decided the battle. When the 
right wing of the Carthaginian army gave way, the centre followed 
their example ; and Hasdrubal, finding the battle lost, and the de- 
struction of his army inevitable from the nature of the ground, 
threw himself into the enemy's ranks and fell fighting. The 
slaughter was great : the Metaurus ran red with blood. 

§ 17. At Rome, as may be well imagined, the news of Nero's 
march had filled all hearts with hope and fear. And now, after 
some ten days of intense anxiety, vague rumours came that a 
battle had been fought and won. Still, men feared to believe 
what they wished ; and the anxiety rose higher and higher, till 
the officer in command at Narnia sent home despatches to say 
that two horsemen had arrived at that place from the field of 
battle with certain news of a great victory. So eager were the 
people, that the Prsetor had great difficulty in preventing the 
despatches from being seized and torn open before they had 
been read in the Senate. And when he brought them out from 
the Senate-house, and read them publicly from the Rostra, a 
burst of exultation broke from every tongue ; and men, women, 
and children thronged to the temples to bless the gods for their 
great deliverance. Thanks were decreed to the Consuls and 
their armies ; three days were appointed for a public thanks- 
giving to the gods. Never was public joy and gratitude more 
deserved. The battle of the Metaurus was the salvation of Italy ; 
and Horace spoke with as much historic truth as poetic fervour 
when he said that "Then, by the death of Hasdrubal, then fell 
all the hope and fortune of Carthage."* 

§ 18. The news was conveyed to Hannibal in a barbarous 
fashion. Nero had returned to his camp at Canusium as speedily 
as possible, and his lieutenants had kept the secret so well, that 
Hannibal had remained ignorant of his absence ; when one 
morning a grisly head was thrown into his camp, and Hannibal 
knew the features of his brother. Two prisoners sent in, and a 
large body paraded before the Roman camp, confirmed the dismal 
forebodings of the general, and he said with a heavy heart that 
" the doom of Carthage was spoken." This treatment of his 
brother's remains was an ill return for the generosity shown by 
Hannibal to the corpses of his opponents ; and Nero, by this act, 
forfeited all claim to admiration, except such as must be bestowed 
on a skilful general and a resolute man. 

Hannibal now retreated into Bruttii. The people of this wild 

" Occidit, occidit 

Spes omnis et fortuna nostri 
Nomiuis, Hasdrubale interempto." 


country, still nearly as wild as it was then, clung to his fallen 
fortunes with unshaken fidelity. Here he maintained himself for 
four years longer, almost more admirable in adversity than in 
prosperity. Even now no Roman general was able to gain a vic- 
tory over him ; even now every veteran soldier remained faithful 
to his great leader. But he was driven into a corner, and stood 
like a lion at bay, still terrible, but without hope. The war in 
Italy may now be considered at an end. 

§ 19. The victory of the Metaurus was held to be an occasion 
for allowing a triumph to the victorious Generals. No triumphal 
procession had passed down the Sacred Way and ascended to the 
Capitol since iEmilius Paullus and Livius Salinator had led up 
the captive Illyrians in the year before Hannibal's invasion. All 
former successes in the war had been but the recoveries of losses, 
all except the capture of Syracuse ; and Marcellus was refused a 
full triumph then, because he left the Sicilian war unfinished. 
But now there was no drawback. The two Consuls met at Pras- 
neste, and advanced with the army of Livius and the captives in 
long procession to the Temple of Bellona, in the Campus Martius. 
Here they were received by the Senate and people in festal array. 
Livius appeared in the triumphal car drawn by four white horses, 
attended by his army, Nero riding on horseback beside him : for 
the battle had been fought in Livius' district. Yet all men 
turned their eyes on the Patrician Consul, and the acclamations 
of the crowd showed to whom belonged the true honours of the 

Notwithstanding these honours, Nero (strange to say) was 
never again employed during the war ; and it was not till Neros 
became heirs of the Empire of Augustus that poets sang of the 
debt which Rome owed to that name.* A star was appearing in 
the west which soon eclipsed the brightness of Nero's fame. 
The remaining period of the war will be little more than a his- 
tory of the deeds of Scipio, 

* "Quid debeas, o Roma, Neronibus, 

Testis Metaurum flumen et Hasdruhal 
Devictus/' etc. 

P. Cornelius Scipio Airicanus. 



§ 1. Young P. Scipio elected Proconsul for Spain. § 2. Character of Scipio, 
. § 3. He resolves to surprise New Carthage. § 4. Site of New Carthage : 
Its capture. § 5. His humane and politic conduct : he refuses to be king. 
§ 6. Movements of Hasdrubal Barca. § 7. Great battle near the Guadal- 
quivir : Romans masters of all Spain except Gades. § 8. Scipio's designs 
upon Africa. § 9. He crosses over to hold conference with Syphax, king 
cf Western Numidia: Treaty. §10. Revolt of Spanish Cities. § 11. 
Mutiny quelled. § 12. Mago loses Gades. § 13. Scipio returns home : is 
elected Consul, and sent to Sicily with permission to invade Africa. § 14. 
Attempts made at home to thwart Scipio, triumphantly repelled. §15. 
Restoration of confidence and credit at Rome. § 16. Scipio lands in Africa. 
§ 17. Besieges Utica, and destroys Carthaginian army by a treacherous 
artifice. § 18. Defeats a second army: advances to Tunis. § 19. Masi- 
nissa made King of all Numidia: death of Sophonisba. § 20. The Cartha- 
ginians recall Hannibal and Mago, and send to treat for Peace at Rome. 
§ 21. Peace refused : death of Fabius. § 22. Hannibal lands at Leptis 
and advances to Zama : Scipio moves to the same point : Conference. 
§ 23. Battle of Zama. § 24. Zama and Waterloo. § 25. Conditions of 
Peace. § 26. Triumph of Scipio. 

§ 1 . The History of the War in Spain has been left almost un- 
noticed, since the Death of the two Scipios in 212 or 211 B.C.* 
It is now time to return to that country ; for the issue of the 


§ 24. 


war between Rome and Hannibal was in reality determined on 
Spanish, soil. 

After the disasters of that campaign, the Senate determined to 
despatch reinforcements without delay ; and the officer appointed 
to take the temporary command was C. Claudius Nero, the future 
hero of the Metaurus. But the Senate resolved to take the un- 
usual course of calling upon the People to elect a Proconsul for 
Spain at the Great Comitia. The policy of continuing the Span- 
ish War was manifest ; but the risk of failure was so great, that 
the Senate thought fit to throw the responsibility upon the 
People. But when the day came that Candidates for the Pro- 
consulate should present themselves in the Campus Martius, 
no Candidate appeared. Men looked at one another in blank 
dismay. It seemed that none of the soldiers of the Republic 
dared to undertake so great and hazardous an enterprise ; when, 
to the surprise and admiration of all, P. Cornelius Scipio, son 
and nephew of the slain Proconsuls, arose and offered himself to 
the suffrages of the People. He was barely twenty-six years of 
age : but his name and character were well known ; and though 
he had hitherto held no office higher than that of iEdile, he was 
elected by acclamation. 

§ 2. Scipio presents in almost all respects a striking contrast 
to the men who had hitherto conducted the affairs of Rome in 
the Second Punic "War. They were far advanced in years, cau- 
tious and distrustful ; he was in the prime of youth, enterprising 
and self-confident. They had been trained in the severity of the 
old Roman discipline ; he is said to have been dissolute in early 
years, and was still thought to affect too much the easy laxity 
of Grecian manners. They were strictly obedient to the letter 
of the law ; he was accustomed from his very youth to put him- 
self above the laws and customs of Rome, They always acted 
as the faithful ministers of the Senate ; he very soon showed 
that the Senate must be content to follow his policy, rather than 
guide it. They, however, gentle to their countrymen, were to 
foreigners harsh, arrogant, and cruel ; he treated foreigners with 
a humanity and courteousness that made his name better loved 
in Spain than in Italy. Yet in some respects he was a true 
Roman. Notwithstanding the excesses charged upon his youth, 
he had long learnt to control his passions absolutely, and to 
submit every desire to his own views of duty. Notwithstanding 
the grace and affability of his manner, he preserved a loftiness 
of deportment which kept men at a certain distance from him. 
J^ew shared his intimacy ; but where he gave his confidence, as 
to his friend C. Lselius, that confidence was complete and un- 
reserved. One point in his character calls for particular at- 


tention, — the religiousness of his life. Never, from his first 
appearance in public, had he been known to undertake any 
enterprise without first resorting to the Great Temple on the 
Capitol, and remaining there for hours absorbed in devotion. 
The Eeligion of Scipio might not be consistent; yet, on the 
whole, it would be unjust to doubt that he acted in reliance on 
the support of Higher Powers. In this lies the secret of his 
character. That self-confidence, which prompted him to shrink 
from no responsibility, led him also to neglect the law 7 s, when 
they seemed to oppose what he thought necessary. Every in- 
cident in his youth shows this confidence. Not to insist on the 
doubtful story of his saving his father's life, when he was yet a 
boy, we have seen him a Tribune of the Legions at the age 
of twenty, assisting to rally the broken remains of the army of 
Cannse, and barring the Secession of the young Nobles after that 
disastrous day. Three years after, we find him offering himself 
Candidate for the Curule iEdileship ; and, when it was objected 
that he was yet too young for the office, promptly answering, 
" If the People vote for me, that will make me old enough." 
And now, after the death of his Father and Uncle in Spain, we 
see him modestly waiting till it was clear that no experienced 
commander would claim the dangerous honour of succeeding 
them, and then bravely offering himself to the acceptance of the 

§3. Scipio arrived in Spain late in the summer of 211, or 
perhaps not till the spring of 210 B.C. He landed at Emporia?, 
with his friend Leelius and his elder brother Lucius, who accom- 
panied him as Legates. He found that the three Generals com- 
manding the Carthaginians in Spain, Hasdrubal and Mago, 
brothers of Hannibal, and Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo, were at 
discord one with another. Their forces lay scattered over a 
wide extent of country from Gades to Celtiberia ; and there 
seems to have been no disposition to act on the offensive against 
the Romans. Scipio, taking advantage of these circumstances, 
determined to strike a blow which would confirm the enthusi- 
astic feelings of the Roman People towards him, and would mark 
that a General had arisen who would not rest, content with the 
timid discretion of the Fabian policy. By a bold stroke it might 
be possible to surprise New Carthage itself. His purpose was 
revealed to none save Lselius, who sailed in command of the fleet, 
while Scipio himself led his army across the Ebro, and arrived 
in an incredibly short time under the walls of the city. 

§ 4. New Carthage lay on a hilly peninsula jutting out into a 
fine bay ; which forms the harbour. On the land side its walls 
were covered by a marsh or lagoon, which was overflowed by the 


sea, so that the place was only approachable by a narrow neck of 
land between the lagoon and the harbour. On this neck of land 
Scipio took up his position, entrenching himself in rear, but 
leaving the front of his camp open towards the city. No time 
was to be lost ; and next morning he gave orders to assault the 
walls. He addressed his soldiers and assured them of success ; 
Neptune, he said, had appeared to him in a dream, and pro- 
mised to fight with the Eomans. The men advanced gallantly 
to the escalade, confident in their young General. But the walls 
were high and strong ; the garrison made a stout defence ; and 
before noon Scipio called off his soldiers. But he did not give 
up his enterprise. In the afternoon, as he was informed, the 
water in the lagoon would be very low, in consequence of a fall 
in the tide assisted by a strong wind. He therefore picked out 
500 men, who were ordered to take a number of scaling-ladders 
and dash through the water so as to mount the walls unob- 
served, while the main body of the army made a feigned attack 
by the neck of land. Thus Neptune would fulfil his promise. 
The device succeeded completely. The garrison had retired to 
their noon-day's sleep, and while they were hurrying to repel the 
feigned attack, the 500 got into the town unopposed, and rushing 
to the main entrance threw open the gates. Scipio, with a 
chosen detachment, pushed on to the citadel, into which the 
garrison had fled ; and the Commandant surrendered at discre- 
tion. All pillaging and slaughter were now stopped ; and at the 
close of the day the young General found himself master of this 
important city, with a very large treasure and an immense 
supply of stores. 

§ 5. The Carthaginian rule was no longer beloved in Spain, and 
Scipio turned this disposition to his own advantage with admi- 
rable dexterity. He set free all the hostages retained by the 
Carthaginians, as well as all of Spanish blood who had been taken 
prisoners in the city. Among these hostages was the wife of 
Mandonius, brother of Indibilis, a powerful chief who had for- 
merly been the friend of Carthage, and the daughters of Indibilis 
himself. He sent them home with as much care as if they had 
been his own kinswomen, although Indibilis and Mandonius had 
been actively engaged against his unfortunate father and uncle. 
Then the soldiers brought him a beautiful girl, whom they had 
reserved as a special gift for their youthful commander. But 
Scipio observing her tears, inquired into her condition ; and 
finding she was the betrothed of Allucius, a young Celtiberian 
chief, he sent for the youth, and restored his bride unharmed, 
without ransom or condition. This generous conduct was not 
without its reward. The Spaniards, quick in feeling and romantic 


in disposition, regarded the young conqueror as a hero sent to 
deliver them from the yoke of Carthage. His noble bearing, his ■■• 
personal beauty, confirmed the favourable impressions caused by 
his conduct to the hostages ; and when he advanced next year 
into Celtiberia, he was welcomed by Indibilis and Mandonius at 
the head of their vassals. Soon after, a deputation of Spaniards 
came to him with entreaties to become their King. But Scipio 
courteously declined the offer, informing them that he was but 
the General of the Eoman People, in whose ears the name of 
King was a byword and a reproach. 

§ 6. The Carthaginian generals were quite unable to make 
head against the well-earned popularity of the youthful Eoman. 
Hasdrubal Barca attempted to retake New Carthage by surprise, 
but in vain ; and the year 208 B.C. found him too busily engaged 
in preparing for his Italian expedition to act with energy against 
the Eomans. All Spain north of the Bsetis (Guadalquivir) was 
relinquished ; but at length Hasdrubal found himself obliged to 
give battle at a place called Baecula, near that river. The Eomans 
won the day ; but the Carthaginian Commander made a skilful 
retreat, leaving his camp and baggage in the hands of the enemy. 
Hasdrubal now drew back into Lusitania, leaving his brother 
Mago and Hasdrubal, son of Gisgo, to cover the borders of that 
district, which with the province- now called Andalusia were the 
only parts of Spain left to the Carthaginians. Meanwhile he 
himself crossed the Tagus, and marching northwards (as we 
have seen) by ways unknown to the Eomans, crossed the Pyre- 
nees near the shores of the Bay of Biscay. Scipio was informed 
of his intentions to pass into Italy, and had expected him to 
follow the course of his brother Hannibal. But in the beginning 
of 207 B.C., while he was lying upon the Ebro, he heard that his 
able opponent had eluded him, and was already approaching the 

§ 7. In that year the Carthaginians made great efforts to re- 
trieve their falling fortunes. Fresh forces were sent from Africa, 
and young Masinissa, son of Gala, a powerful Numidian chief, 
also took the field with a large body of his formidable horsemen. 
Scipio himself did not appear in the south till late in the season, 
when he found that his brother Lucius, with his legate Silanus, 
had kept the Carthaginians in check. But the news of the Me- 
taurus had reached him, and he burned with eagerness to eclipse 
the glory of Nero. 

Late in this year, therefore, or early in 206, Scipio with his 
whole force prepared to pass the Bsetis and bring the enemy to 
action. The Carthaginians, confident in their numbers, were 
equally ready, and their united forces boldly faced the enemy. 


The place of the battle is unknown ; its name is variously given 
*as Silpia or Elinga. But the result is certain. Scipio's victory 
was complete ; the whole Carthaginian army was broken and 
destroyed ; its scattered remains took refuge behind the walls 
of Gades, with Hasdrubal Gisgo and Mago ; while the wily Masi- 
nissa entered into secret negotiations with the Romans. The 
Senate, therefore, at the cornmencement of the year 206, had to 
congratulate the People not only on seeing Italy almost delivered 
from the army of Hannibal, but also on the important fact that 
all Spain, except the town of Gades, was in the hands of the 
Roman armies. 

§ 8. But Scipio regarded Spain as a mere stepping-stone to 
Africa. Here, and here only, he felt convinced, could the war 
be concluded. Already Valerius Lsevinus had made descents 
upon the African coast, and found the country nearly as de- 
fenceless as in the days of Agathocles and of Regulus. Scipio 
determined not to return to Rome till he had laid the train for 
an invasion of Africa ; and then, with the confidence that marked 
his whole career, he would offer himself for the Consulship, and 
force the Senate to allow him his own way. 

§ 9. At that time the country to the west of the Carthaginian 
Territory, from Bona to Oran, was known by the name of Nu- 
midia ; and the Numidians themselves were divided into two 
great Tribes, the Western Numidians or Massesylians, and the 
Eastern or Massylians. Of the Masaesylians, Syphax was King ; 
his capital being Cirta, now well known under the name of Con- 
stantine as the chief fortress of Algeria. Gala, father of Masi- 
nissa, was ruler of the Massylians ; and Scipio had already en- 
tered into negotiations with Masinissa. But Masinissa had not 
yet any power of his own ; while the power of Syphax necessarily 
made him the most dangerous enemy of Carthage. It was there- 
fore of the greatest importance to secure the friendship of this 
powerful but unstable chieftain. Scipio resolved, with a bold- 
ness almost romantic, to pay a visit to the Numidian capital ; 
and, to show his confidence in Syphax, he sailed from New 
Carthage to Africa with two ships only. It happened that 
Hasdrubal Gisgo, who had before this left Spain in despair, 
appeared at the Court of Syphax at the self-same time, with the 
self-same purposes. Both the rivals were entertained by the 
Numidian ; but the winning manners and personal grace of 
Scipio prevailed for. the present, and Syphax formed an alliance 
with the Romans. 

§ 10. When Scipio returned to Spain, he found that his short 
absence had produced a serious change. Three important cities 
in the vale of the Bsetis, Illiturgi, Castulo, and Astapa,had closed 


their gates and declared their independence. Without delay, he 
laid siege to Illiturgi. The town was taken after an obstinate 
defence, and given up to massacre and pillage. This dreadful 
fate of their countrymen produced immediate, but opposite, 
effects on Castulo and Astapa. The men of Castulo, stricken 
with fear, surrendered at discretion. The men of Astapa col- 
lected all their property into a huge funeral pile in the market- 
place, and placed their wives and daughters under a guard, who 
had orders to slay them and fire the pile as soon as the gates 
should be forced. The rest of the citizens fell fighting bravely, 
and the Romans were left masters of a heap of ashes. 

§ 11. Another circumstance showed that the Roman power in 
Spain rested on a precarious tenure. Scipio fell ill at New Car- 
thage, and a report was spread that he was dead. Upon this, 
Indibilis and Mandonius, believed to be his most faithful friends, 
raised the standard of revolt and advanced into Celtiberia. A 
division of Italian troops, 8000 strong, stationed upon the Sucro, 
broke into open mutiny, driving away their Roman officers, and 
choosing two Italians as their chiefs. The prompt and decisive 
way in which Scipio quelled this dangerous mutiny recalls the 
conduct of Clive in Bengal on a similar occasion. He sent mes- 
sengers to the mutineers, desiring them to come to New Car- 
thage and state their grievances ; and as they approached the 
town, he ordered the division of the army in that place to pre- 
pare for marching against the revolted Spaniards. The Italians, 
therefore, met the army leaving New Carthage as they entered 
it, and fondly deemed that the General would now be completely 
at their mercy. But when they appeared next morning before 
Scipio, they found that thirty-five persons, the ringleaders of the 
mutiny, had been arrested during the night ; and the clash of 
arms in the streets leading to the Forum apprised them that the 
army had returned from its pretended march. Scipio reproved 
the mutineers with much severity. He ordered the ringleaders 
for execution, and pardoned the rest on their taking the oath of 
allegiance anew. Indibilis and Mandonius hastened to make full 
submission. But no sooner had Scipio left Spain, than these 
discontented chiefs again took arms. Indibilis fell in battle ; 
Mandonius was taken prisoner and put to death. 

§ 12. It was now apparent that the Carthaginians had no 
longer any hope of recovering their ground in Spain. Hasdrubal 
Gisgo had returned to Africa. Masinissa obtained an interview 
with Scipio, and renewed his promises of friendship. Mago, 
the last remaining brother of Hannibal, after a vain attempt to 
surprise New Carthage, returned to Gades, and found that the 
inhabitants shut their gates against him. He enticed the chief 


Magistrates, called Suffets (as at Carthage), into a negotiation, 
and seizing their persons crucified them in sight of the town. 
This brutal and treacherous act forfeited his last claim on the 
sympathies of the people of Gades. They surrendered to the 
Romans, while Mago sailed off to the Balearic Isles, and occupied 
himself in preparing a descent upon the coast of Italy, as a last 
chance of relieving his illustrious brother. 

§ 13. The soil of the Spanish Peninsula was now completely 
cleared of the Carthaginians, and Scipio prepared to return to 
Rome. Three years before he had left his country amid the 
hopes and expectations of all men. He now returned, having 
more than fulfilled those hopes and expectations. His friend 
La^lius had been sent home to announce his first great success ; 
his brother Lucius had lately arrived to prepare the Senate and 
people for the speedy arrival of the hero ; and no one doubted 
that at the approaching elections Scipio would be raised to the 
Consulship by the unanimous voice of the People. 

It was towards the close of the year 206 B.C. that he returned. 
The Senate met him at the Temple of Bellona ; but refused him 
a triumph on the ground that he had not held any regular magis- 
tracy during his absence. He therefore entered the City, and 
offered himself candidate for the Consulship. Every Tribe united 
in giving him their suffrages, though he was not yet thirty years 
old. But the common rules of election had been neglected 
throughout the war, and no difficulty seems to have been raised 
on the score of age. His colleague was P. Licinius Crassus, who 
was Pontifex Maximus, and therefore unable to leave Italy* 
Whatever foreign enterprise was undertaken must fall to the lot 
of Scipio. He himself was at no pains to conceal his intention 
of carrying the war into Africa ; and it was generally understood, 
that if the Senate refused leave, he would bring a special Bill for 
the purpose before the People. Fabius, with Fulvius and the 
old Senatorial party, vehemently opposed these bold projects. 
But the time was gone by when they could use the votes of the 
people, against an enterprising Consul, as they had done some 
years before against Laevinus. The Senate was fain to compro- 
mise the matter by naming Sicily as his province, with permis- 
sion to cross over into Africa if he deemed it expedient. They 
refused him, however, the additional levies and supplies which 
he required ; and, though the Etruscans and other Italians 
enthusiastically volunteered to give all he wanted, he was unable 
during the year of his Consulate to make any attempt on Africa. 
But he was continued in his command as Proconsul. 

§ 14. The enemies of Scipio made one more attempt to thwart 
his African enterprise. Hearing that the citadel of Locri had 


been taken by Q. Pleminius, who commanded as Proprsetor in 
Bruttii, but that Hannibal had come to the relief of the place, he 
left his Province without hesitation, and sailing into the harbour 
of Locri, obliged the Carthaginian to retire. Pleminius was no 
sooner left in command there than he indulged in gross and 
brutal outrages, not only against the people of Locri, but against 
such Romans as ventured to oppose his will. Soipio was appealed 
to, but declined to interfere, desiring the Locrians to lay their 
complaints before the Senate at Rome. These complaints arrived 
early in the year 204 B.C., and old Fabius again loudly inveighed 
against the presumptuous audacity of his young rival. He ended 
his speech by proposing that ho should be deprived of his com- 
mand. Other complaints were made against Scipio, that by 
going to Locri he had transgressed the limits of his Province, 
as he had done before by visiting Syphax in Numidia ; more- 
over, that he spent his time in pursuits unfit for a Roman 
soldier, frequenting the schools and gymnasia of the Greek 
cities, and wearing a Greek dress ; while his men were daily 
becoming corrupted by licentious living and want of discipline. 
The Senate ventured not to act on these vague accusations with- 
out previous inquiry ; and it was therefore resolved to send a 
commission into Sicily to examine into the truth of the charges. 
The result was highly favourable to the General. It was reported 
that he was guiltless of the excesses of Pleminius, who was 
arrested, and left to die in prison ; that his troops, instead of 
being neglected or undisciplined, were in the highest order ; and 
that arms, engines, and supplies of every kind were provided for 
the invasion of Africa. It was universally resolved that Scipio 
should retain his command till he should bring the war to a 

§ 15. The confidence which the Senate felt in the altered state 
of affairs is fully shown by two Decrees passed in this same year. 
The first respected the Twelve Latin Colonies, which five years 
before had refused to furnish soldiers. At the time, it had been 
thought prudent to pass over this contumacious conduct. But 
now they were required to furnish twice their proper contingent 
till the end of the war. They murmured, but submitted. The 
other Decree was moved by Lsevinus for the repayment of the 
patriotic loan advanced during his Consulship in the year 210 
B.C. It was apparent, therefore, that the battle of the Metaurus, 
backed by the great successes of Scipio in Spain, had raised the 
Republic above all fear of disaffection in her Colonies, or of 
bankruptcy at home. Other signs of confidence appear. A huge 
Stone, supposed to represent the Great Mother of the Gods, was 
brought in state to Rome from Pessinus in Sicily. The Sibylline 


books directed that the care of this precious relic should be given 
to "the best man" at Rome ; and the Senate adjudged the title 
to P. Scipio Nasica, son of Cn. Scipio, who had died in Spain, 
and first cousin to the great man who was now making the 
name illustrious. 

§ 16. All obstacles being now removed, Scipio prepared to 
cross over into Africa. His army and fleet were assembled at 
Lilybseum under his own eye. His brother Lucius and his friend 
Lselius still attended him as legates ; and his Quaestor was a 
young man destined hereafter to become famous, M. Porcius 
Cato. It was in the course of the year 204 B.C. that he set sail. 
His army was not so numerous as it was well-appointed and well- 
disciplined, composed of men who had grown old in service, 
skilful in sieges, prepared for all dangers ; for the greater part 
knew that in the successful termination of the war lay their 
only chance of returning home to end their days in peace. As 
the ships left the harbour at daybreak, Scipio prayed aloud to all 
the gods, that his enterprise might be blessed by their favour ; 
that the evils which Carthage had wrought against Rome might 
now be visited upon her own head. When the second morning 
broke, they were in sight of land ; and Scipio, when he heard 
that they were off the Fair Promontory, said that the omen was 
good, and there should be their landing-place. 

Masinissa joined him with only 200 of his Numidian horse ; 
but his knowledge of the country, and his ceaseless activity, 
would have made him welcome, even if he had come alone. 

§ 17. Scipio immediately laid siege to Utica. Terror at Car- 
thage rose to its highest pitch. For a time he was left to carry 
on his operations unmolested. But as winter advanced, Has- 
drubal Gisgo succeeded in collecting a considerable force, and 
persuaded Syphax, his son-in-law, to lend his aid in relieving 
Utica. Scipio was encamped on a head-land to the eastward 
of this town, on a spot which long retained the name of " the 
Cornelian Camp,'? * and where his entrenchments are still to 
be traced ; and the Carthaginians hoped that they might block- 
ade him here both by land and sea. Scipio remained quiet 
the whole winter, except that he amused Syphax by entering into 
negotiations for peace. But these negotiations were carried on 
to mask a design, which, as spring came on, he was enabled to 
put in practice. He observed that Hasdrubal occupied one 
camp, and Syphax another. The huts occupied by the Numi- 
dians were formed of stakes wattled and thatched with reeds ; 
and the quarters of the Carthaginians, though somewhat more 
substantial, consisted solely of timber. Scipio contrived to 
* Caesar, Bell. Civ. ii. 24 and 37. 


obtain an accurate knowledge of the plan and disposition of 
these camps ; and when the time for the execution of his design 
was arrived, he suddenly broke off the negotiations, and told 
Syphax that all thoughts of peace must be deferred till a later 

On the first dark night that followed, he sent Lselius and Ma* 
sinissa against the camp of Syphax, while he moved himself 
towards that of Hasdrubal. Masinissa obtained an easy entrance 
into the lines of his countrymen, and straightway set fire to their 
inflammable habitations. The unfortunate men rose from their 
beds or from their wine- cups, and endeavoured to extinguish the 
flames. But the work had been too well done ; and as they 
attempted to escape, they found that every avenue of the camp 
was beset by enemies. Fire was behind them, death by the 
sword before ; and though Syphax escaped, his army was de- 
stroyed. The same fate befel Hasdrubal. On the first alarm, 
he conjectured the truth, and made off leaving his men a prey 
to Scipio. When morning broke, the Romans pursued the fugi- 
tives ; and it is not too much to say that the whole force on 
which Carthage depended for safety was cut off in this horrible 
way. The recital makes the blood run cold. Yet neither the 
act itself, nor the duplicity by which it w r as carried into exe- 
cution, were ever thought to cast any slur on the fair fame of 

§ 18. The Carthaginian Senate were ready to give up matters 
as lost. But at this juncture 10,000 Celtiberians landed in Africa 
and offered their services to Syphax ; and this prince was over- 
persuaded by the entreaties of his wife Sophonisba, daughter of 
Hasdrubal Gisgo, to renew the struggle. Hasdrubal also exerted 
himself to collect a new army ; and in the course of thirty days 
the two allied generals appeared on the Great Plains, which lie 
about 70 or 80 miles to the south-west of Utica and Carthage. 
Scipio, leaving his fleet and a division of his army to continue 
the blockade of Utica, advanced to give them battle without 
delay. The Celtiberians made a stout resistance ; but, being 
deserted by the rest of the army, they were entirely cut to 
pieces. Hasdrubal fled to Carthage, Syphax to his own kingdom ; 
so that the whole country was left to the mercy of the Romans. 
Scipio advanced towards Carthage, receiving the submission of 
the different towns by which he passed. Encamping at Tunis, 
within sight of the Capital, he awaited the submission of the 

§ 19. Meanwhile Lselius and Masinissa, with the Italian and 
Numidian cavalry, pursued Syphax to Cirta. The unlucky king 
made a faint show of resistance ; but he was defeated, and his 


capital surrendered at discretion. Masinissa now received his 
reward, and was proclaimed King of all Numidia. When he 
entered Cirta, he was met by Sophonisba, formerly his betrothed, 
and now the wife of his rival. Her charms melted his heart ; 
and fearing lest Scipio might claim her as his captive, to lead" her 
in triumph by the side of Syphax, he took the bold step of mar- 
rying her at once. Scipio sent for the young chief and rebuked 
him sternly for venturing to take possession of a Roman captive. 
Masinissa felt that he was unable to protect his unhappy bride ; 
but, resolved that at least she should have the option of escaping 
from the degradation of a Roman triumph, he sent her a cup of 
poison, telling her that herein lay her only possible deliverance. 
She took the potion, saying that she accepted the nuptial gift, 
and drained it to the dregs. When the tragical fate of Sopho- 
nisba reached the ears of Scipio, he feared that he had dealt too 
harshly with his Numidian ally. He sent for him, and, gently 
reproving him for his haste, he publicly presented him with the 
most honourable testimonies to his bravery and fidelity which 
a Roman General could bestow. In the delights of satisfied 
ambition and the acquisition of a powerful sovereignty, Masi- 
nissa soon forgot the sorrows of Sophonisba. 

§ 20. While Scipio remained at Tunis, the Carthaginian fleet 
made an attack on the Roman ships in the harbour of Utica, and 
gained some advantage. Intelligence also reached the Govern- 
ment that Mago, on landing in Italy, had been welcomed by the 
Ligurians and a portion of the Gauls, and had lately taken posi- 
tion on the Po with a considerable force. Here, however, he was 
encountered by a Roman army and defeated after a severe 
struggle. Mago, himself wounded, took refuge among the Ligu- 
rians, who still remained faithful to his cause. 

Ambassadors were now despatched by the Carthaginians to 
Rome to treat for peace, while orders were sent to Hannibal and 
Mago to return with such forces as they could bring. Mago 
obeyed the orders immediately, but died of his wound upon the 
passage. Hannibal also with bitter feelings prepared to obey, 
For sixteen years had the indomitable man maintained himself 
on foreign ground ; and even now the remains of his veteran 
army clung to him with desperate fidelity. He felt that, so far 
as he was concerned, he had been more than successful : if he 
had failed, it had been the fault of that ungrateful country, which 
had left him long years unsupported, and now was recalling him 
to defend her from the enemy. What Scipio was now to Car- 
thage, that might Hannibal have been to Rome. Still he saw 
that no advantage could be gained by remaining longer in Italy : 
he therefore bade farewell to the foreign shores, so long his own, 


and set sail for that native land which, had not seen him for 
nearly forty years. 

§ 21. Great was the joy at Rome when the news came that their 
dire enemy had been at length compelled to leave the shores of 
Italy. A public thanksgiving was decreed ; sacrifices offered to all 
the Great Gods of Rome ; and the Roman Games, which had been 
vowed by Marcellus in his last Consulship, were now at length 
performed. It was at this moment of triumph that the Carthagi- 
nian Ambassadors arrived. The Senate received them (inauspicious 
omen !) in the Temple of Bellona. Laevinus moved that they 
should be at once dismissed, and that orders should be sent to Scipio 
to push on the war with vigour. After some debate, his proposition 
was adopted. The close of the year 203 B.C. therefore rendered it 
certain that the war must be decided by a trial of strength between 
the two great Generals, who, each triumphant in his own career, 
had never yet encountered each other in arms. About the same 
time old Fabius died in extreme old age. He has the merit of first 
successfully opposing Hannibal ; but his somewhat narrow mind, 
and the jealous obstinacy which often accompanies increasing years, 
prevented him from seeing that there is a time for all things ; that 
his own policy was excellent for retrieving the fortunes of the Re- 
public, but that the weakness of Hannibal left the field open for the 
bolder measures of Scipio. 

§ 22. Hannibal landed at Leptis, to the south of Carthage, with 
his veterans ; and thence marching northwards, took up his position 
on the plain of Zama, within five days' march of Carthage. Scipio, 
early in the year (202 B.C.), advanced from Tunis to meet him ; 
and finding that the Carthaginian General had sent spies to ascer- 
tain his strength, he ordered them to be led through his camp, and 
bade them make a full report of what they had seen. Hannibal 
felt that he had to deal with a superior force, led by a General only 
second in ability to himself. His own veterans were few in number ; 
the remainder of his army were raw levies or allies little to be 
trusted; the Numidian horse, his main arm in Italy, were now 
arrayed against him under the enterprising Masinissa. He therefore 
proposed a personal conference, in the faint hope that he might 
effect a treaty with Scipio. But it was too late. The Generals 
parted from their conference with feelings of mutual esteem, and 
prepared to decide the fate of the civilised world by battle. 

§ 23. Next day at sunrise both armies drew out. Hannibal 
marshalled his army in three lines : first his Gallic and Ligurian 
auxiliaries, with Balearians and other light troops ; in the second 
line, the veterans of Italy with fresh African levies ; and in the 
rear, the few Italian allies who had followed his fortunes. Both 
wings were flanked by cavalry ; the whole line of battle was covered 

ROME, o 


by a formidable' array of eighty elephants. To oppose him, Scipio 
also formed three lines according to the common practice of the 
Romans ; Lselius with the Italian cavalry was on the left, Masi- 
nissa with his Numidians on the right. The Roman army was 
superior in all respects, except in elephants ; and to make the 
attack of these monsters powerless, Scipio drew up the maniples of 
his infantry not (as was usual) chequerwise, but each immediately 
behind its front-rank maniple, so as to leave open lanes through 
the army from front to rear. 

The battle began by an attack of the elephants on the Roman 
light troops, who skirmished in front of the regular lines, and who, 
being overborne by the weight of the huge beasts, fled down the 
lanes which have been described. But when the elephants came 
within the ranks, the men on each side pricked them with their 
javelins, so that some of them rushed clear through the spaces 
without turning to the right or left ; others wheeled about and 
carried confusion into the Carthaginian ranks. Meanwhile both 
Masinissa and Lselius had routed the cavalry opposed to them, and 
the battle grew hot in the centre. The auxiliaries in Hannibal's 
front line were soon driven in upon the veterans, who levelled their 
spears and compelled them to advance again. Both parties kept 
bringing up their fresh men, withdrawing their wounded to the 
rear ; and the battle continued w 7 ith great fury, till Lselius and 
Masinissa, returning with the cavalry from the pursuit, charged the 
Carthaginians in rear, and decided the fate of the day. The Romans 
lost about 5000 on the field; the Carthaginians not less than 20,000, 
besides a vast number who were taken prisoners. 

§ 24. Thus was Hannibal defeated, but not subdued. The 
Battle of Zama has often been compared to that of Waterloo. In 
both, the two greatest Generals of the respective parties met for the 
first time ; and in both, the more famous chief, fighting with an 
army hastily drawn together in defence of his country, was defeated. 
But in other points they were unlike.- Waterloo left France help- 
less ; and her ruler, had no hope but in withdrawing from her shores. 
After .the Battle of Zama Hannibal could still have offered a long 
resistance ; and if he thought it best to make peace, it was that 
he might reform the government, and prepare to renew the war at 
a future time. 

§ 25. As Scipio was returning to Tunis, he met envoys from 
Carthage. He sent them back with the following conditions of 
peace : " The Carthaginians were to be left independent within 
their own territories; they were to give up all prisoners and de- 
serters, all their ships of war except ten triremes, and all their 
elephants ; they were not to make war in Africa or out of Africa 
without the consent of Rome ; they were to acknowledge Masinissa 


as Kiug of Numidia; they were to pay 10,000 talents of silver 
towards the expenses of the war by instalments in the course of the 
next fifty years."* When the Great Council of Carthage met to 
debate on these conditions, Hasdrubal son of Gisgo rose to advise 
the continuation of war ; when Hannibal, angry at the folly of the 
man, pulled him back to his seat. A loud cry was raised ; upon 
which the General rose and said that " for six-and-thirty years 
he had been fighting the battles of his country in foreign lands, and 
if in the camp he had forgotten the manners of the city, he prayed 
forgiveness." He then went on to show that all resistance, however 
prolonged, must prove fruitless ; and in the end the Council agreed 
to accept the proposed conditions. Upon this Scipio sent his 
brother Lucius, with two other envoys, to Rome to learn the plea- 
sure of the Senate and People. The Senate received Scipio's envoys 
in the Temple of Bellona, and welcomed them with the highest 
honours. At the same time ambassadors arrived from the old 
Government Party at Carthage, who had always opposed the 
Hannibalic War, and now hoped to obtain more favourable terms : 
but they were dismissed by the Senate with contumely ; and the 
final decision respecting Peace was left to the People. All the 
Tribes voted that Scipio should be empowered to confirm the condi- 
tions which he had already offered ; and the Fecials were ordered to 
pass over into Africa, carrying with them Italian flints to strike fire 
withal, and Italian herbs on which to offer sacrifice, that the Treaty 
might be made in unexceptionable form. In the beginning of the 
year 201 B.C., seventeen years after Hannibal had left New Car- 
thage on his march into Italy, peace was concluded, and Scipio set 
sail for Rome. 

§ 26. The Triumph of Scipio was the most splendid that had 
ever yet ascended to the Capitol. The enormous quantity of silver 
which he brought with him not only enriched his soldiers, but 
relieved the State from the pressure of her debts. King Syphax 
followed his car, with many other illustrious prisoners ; and, what 
was still more grateful to his feelings, many Romans who had long 
languished in captivity attended their deliverer wearing caps of 
Liberty. The General himself, the universal gaze of men, was 
saluted by the name of the country he had conquered. No one 
before him had obtained the honour of this titular surname : but 
the name of Scipio has come down to our own times indissolubly 
linked with that of Africanus. 

* 10,000 talents weight of silver would be worth at the present day more 
than 2,000,000/. sterling. 

o 2 




f 1. The present a fit place for a Review of the Constitution, &c. § 2. The 
severance between Patricians and Plebeians fast disappearing. § 3 Decay 
of the Comitia Curia«ta. § 4. Regulations of age, &c. for admission to 
offices of State. § 5. Duties attached to each. § 6. These offices pro- 
fessedly open to all, but now practically limited to the wealthy. § 7. 
Constant change in executive officers, even in those of the army. § 8. Re- 
publican nature of the system. § 9. Stability given to the system by the 
Senate: the Senate composed of persons qualified (1) by tenure of office, 
(2) by property, (3) by age. § 10. Power of the Senate, (1) in legislation, 
(2) in administration of home and foreign affairs, (3) in jurisdiction. §11. 
The Comitia Centuriata, as re-modelled. § 12. The Comitia Tributa: its 
gradual rise to power, coordinate with the encroachments of the Tribunate. 
§ 13. Anomaly of two independent legislative bodies : how were collisions 
prevented? § 14. The Tribe Assembly far from a pure democracy. § 15. 
All laws in both Assemblies required the previous sanction of the Senate. 
§ 16. Causes that prevented collision between the Senate and the Tribes. 
§ 17. Predominance of the Tribe Assembly over the Centuriate, in legis- 
lation. § 18. Their elective powers. § 19. Their rights of jurisdiction. 
§ 20. Present supremacy of the Senate accounted for. § 21. Provinces 
and Finances : our knowledge chiefly drawn from Sicily. § 22. Condition 


of the Sicilian Cities after the Second Punic War. § 23. General principles 
of Provincial Government. § 24. Difference between Italy and Provinces 
chiefly in Taxation : Revenues : Treasury : ordinary Revenues. § 25. 
Extraordinary Tax on Property levied for war expenses : nature of these 
advances : soon repaid : the War Tax finally abolished. § 26. How far 
Italians contributed to war expenses. § 27. System of Taxation and Tax- 
gathering in the Provinces. 

§ 1. Now that we have seen Rome first become Mistress of Italy, 
and then, after a life and death struggle, rise superior to Carthage ; 
now that we shall have to follow her in her conquest of all the coun- 
tries bordering on the Mediterranean, so that this sea became what 
in modern phrase might be called a Roman lake, w T e naturally 
inquire what was the form of government under which she made 
these great achievements, what the treatment of the subject 
foreigners, what the condition of the people, their manners and 
mode of life, their progress in art and literature. * 

§ 2. About the time of the Punic Wars the framework of the 
Roman Constitution was complete. This Constitution was not 
created by a single legislator, like that of Sparta, nor due to the 
convulsive efforts of an oppressed commonalty, like that of modern 
France, but had grown up, like that of England, by slow degrees 
out of the struggles between the Patrician Lords who had originally 
engrossed all political power, and the Plebeians, who had by succes- 
sive steps obtained a share in all the privileges of the Patricians. 
The only trace remaining of ancient severance was the regulation by 
which, of the two Consuls and the two Censors, one must be a 
Patrician, one a Plebeian. In a few years even this partition of . 
offices fell into disuse,* and no political distinction remained, save 
that persons of Patrician pedigree were excluded from the Tribunate 
of the Plebs, as Scottish Peers from sitting in the House of Com- 

§ 3. In correspondence with the advance of Plebeian and the 
decay of Patrician Families, a silent revolution had been wrought in 
most parts of the Constitution. The Assembly of the Curies had 
become a mere form. They continued to meet even to Cicero's 
time ; but their business had dwindled away to the regulation of 
the religious observances proper to the Patrician Gentes. A few 
Lictors, who were present as the attendants of the presiding Magis- 
trate, alone appeared to represent the descendants of the Valerii, ( 
the Claudii, and the Posthumii.f 

§ 4. With regard to the Executive Government, the chief 
officers of State employed in the administration of Roman affairs 

* Both Consuls were plebeian first in 172 B.C. ; both Censors first in 131. 
t Cicero, ad Att. iv. 18 ; a curious and interesting passage. 


remained as they had been settled after the Licinian Laws. At 
a later time it is well known that every Eoman who aspired to 
the highest offices was obliged to ascend through a regular scale 
of honours. By the Lex Annalis (passed in 180 B.C.) an age was 
fixed before which each was unattainable. The first office so held 
was the Quaestorship, and the earliest age at which this could 
then be gained appears to have been about twenty-seven. Several 
years were then to elapse before a Eoman could hold the first 
Curule office, that is, the iEdileship. But between this and each 
of the highest honours, the Pra^torship and the Consulship, only 
two complete years were interposed. To be chosen iEdile a man 
must be at least thirty-seven, to be Prator at least forty, to be 
Consul at least forty-three. But though some limitations already 
existed, there seems to have been no settled rule. Many cases 
occur, both before and after the Second Punic War, in which 
men were elected to the Consulship at a very early age, and 
before they had held any other Curule office. The younger Scipio 
was elected Consul, though he was but candidate for the iEdile- 
ship : Marius and Sylla both avoided the iEdileship. 

§ 5. There can be little doubt that this last-named office was 
the least acceptable to an active and ambitious man. The chief 
duties of the iEdiles related to the care of the Public Buildings 
(whence their name), the celebration of the Games and Festivals, 
the order of the Streets, and other matters belonging to the de- 
partment of Police. But the Quaestors were charged with business 
of a more important character. They were attached to the Consuls 
. and Praetors as Treasurers and Paymasters. The Tax-gatherers 
(Publicani) paid into their hands all moneys received on account of 
the State, and out of these funds they disbursed all sums required 
for the use of the Army, the Fleet, or the Civil Administration. 
They were originally two in number, one for each Consul ; but very 
soon they were doubled, and at the conquest of Italy they were 
increased to eight. Two always remained at home to conduct 
the business of the Treasury, the rest accompanied the Consuls, 
and Praetors, and Proconsuls to the most important provinces. 

The office of Prsetor was supplementary to that of the Consuls, 
and was at first chiefly judicial. The original Praetor was called 
Prsetor Urbanus, or President of the City Courts. A second was 
added about the time when Sicily became subject to Rome, and a 
new court was erected for the decision of cases in which foreigners 
were concerned : hence the new magistrate was called Praetor 
Peregrinus. For the government of the two first Provinces, Sicily 
and Sardinia, two more Praetors were created, and when Spain was 
constituted as a double Province, two more, so that the whole 
number amounted to six. In the absence of the Consuls the Praetors 
presided in the Senate and at the great assembly of the Centuries. 


They often commanded reserve armies in the field, but they were 
always subordinate to the Consuls ; and to mark this subordinate 
position they were allowed only six Lictors, whereas each Consul 
was attended by twelve. 

Of the Consuls it is needless to speak in this place. Their posi- 
tion as the supreme executive officers of the State is sufficiently 
indicated in every page of the History. 

§ 6. To obtain each of these high offices the Roman was obliged 
to seek the suffrages of his fellow-citizens. They were open to the 
ambition of every one whose name had been entered b^y the Censors 
on the Register of Citizens, provided he had reached the required 
age. No office, except the Censorship, was held for a longer period 
than twelve months : no officer received any pay or salary for his 
services. To defray expenses certain allowances were made from the 
Treasury by order of the Senate. To discharge routine duties and to 
conduct their correspondence, each magistrate had a certain number 
of clerks (Scribe), who formed what we should call the Civil 

But though the highest offices seemed thus absolutely open to 
every candidate, they were not so in practice. About the time of 
the First Punic War an alteration was made which, in effect, con- 
fined the Curule offices to the wealthy families. The iEdiles, for 
the expenses of the Public Games, had an allowance made them 
from the Treasury. But at the time just mentioned this allowance 
was withdrawn. Yet the Curule iEdiles were still expected to 
maintain the honour of Rome by costly spectacles at the Great 
Roman Games, the Megalesian Festival, and others of less conse- 
quence. Thus the choice of the People was limited to those who 
could buy their favour by large expenditure. 

§7. That which strikes the mind as most remarkable in the 
Executive Government of Rome is the short period for which each 
magistrate held office, and the danger of leaving appointments so 
important to the suffrages of the People at large. And this is still 
more striking when we remember that the same system was extended 
to the army itself as well as to its generals. The Romans had no 
standing army. Every Roman citizen between the complete ages of 
seventeen and forty- five, and possessing property worth at least 4000 
pounds of copper, was placed on the Military Roll. From this Roll 
four Legions, two for each Consul, were enlisted every year, and in cases 
of necessity additional Legions were raised. But at the close of the 
year's campaign these legionary soldiers had a right to be relieved. 
Nor were there any fixed officers. Each Legion had six Tribunes 
and sixty Centurions ; but these were chosen, like the Consuls and 
soldiers, fresh every year. The majority of the Tribunes were 
elected at the Comitia of the Tribes, and the remainder were nomi- 


natecl by the Consuls of the year, the only limitation to such choice 
being that those appointed should have served in the Legions at 
least five campaigns. The Centurions were then nominated by the 
Tribunes, subject to the approval of the Consuls. 

§ 8. Hence it appears that the Roman system, both in Army and 
State, was strictly Republican, that is, calculated to distribute public 
offices to as many citizens as possible, and to prevent power being 
absorbed by any single man or classes of men. There were no pro- 
fessed statesmen or officers, but there was a large number of men 
who had served for a time in each capacity. There was no standing 
Army, but there was a good Militia. There was no regularly trained 
soldiery, but every citizen had served in his time several campaigns, 
and every one was something of a soldier. 

But no Republic, however jealous, can rigidly carry out such a 
system : necessity will modify it in practice. During the Samnite 
Wars we find the same eminent men repeatedly elected to the 
Consulship, notwithstanding a provision that no man should hold 
this high office except at intervals of ten years. Valerius Corvus was 
chosen Consul at three-and-twenty ; he held the office four times in 
fourteen years. So also Papirius Cursor, Fabius Maximus, and others 
held the same sovereign office repeatedly at short intervals. In the 
year 328 B.C. another plan was adopted to secure permanency. From 
this time it became common to- continue a Consul or Prator in his 
command for several successive years, with the title of Pro-consul or 
Pro-pra3tor. The Pro-consul also was allowed to keep part of his old 
army, with his Tribunes and Centurions. The hope of booty and 
the desire to serve out his campaigns (for after a certain number 
of campaigns served the legionary was exempt, even though he was 
much under forty-five years*) kept many soldiers in the field ; and 
thus the nucleus of a regular army was formed by each commander, 
in the Punic Wars the ten-years' law was suspended altogether. And 
Pro-consuls were ordered to remain in office for years together. 

§ 9. But though the chief officers both in State and Army were 
continually liable to change, there was a mighty power behind 
them, which did not change. This was the Senate. 

The importance of this body can hardly be overstated. All the 
acts of the Roman Republic ran in the name of the Senate and 
People, as if the Senate were half the state, though its number were 
still limited to Three Hundred members. 

The Senate of Rome was perhaps the most remarkable assembly 
that the world has ever seen. Its members held their seats for life ; 
once Senators always Senators, unless they were degraded for some 
dishonourable cause. But the Senatorial Peerage was not hereditary. 

* Such exempts were called Emeriti, — qui stipendia legitima fecissent. The 
number of campaigns required was 20 for the infantry, 10 for the cavalry. 


No father could transmit the honour to his son. Each man must 
win it for himself. 

The manner in which seats in the Senate were obtained is tolerably 
well ascertained. The members of this august body, all — or nearly 
all — owed their places to the votes of the People. In theory, indeed, 
the Censors still possessed the power really exercised by the Kings 
and early Consuls, of choosing the Senators at their own will and 
pleasure. But official powers, however arbitrary, are always limited 
in practice. The Censors followed rules established by ancient 
precedent, and chose the Senate from those who had held the 
Quaestorship and higher Magistracies. In the interval between two 
Censorships, that is in the course of five years, the number of Ex- 
Qusestors alone must have amounted to at least forty, and this 
doubtless was sufficient to fill the number of vacancies which oc- 
curred in ordinary times. The first qualification then for a seat in 
the Senate was that of Office. It is probable that to the qualification 
of office there was added a second, of Property. Such was certainly 
the case in later times.* A third limitation, that of Age, followed from 
the rule that the Senate was recruited from the list of official persons. 
No one could be a Senator till he was past thirty years of age. 

Such is a sketch of the constitution of this greae Council during 
the best times of the Eepublic. It formed a true Aristocracy. Its 
members, almost all, possessed the knowledge derived from the dis- 
charge of public office and from mature age. They were recom- 
mended to their places by popular election, and yet secured from 
subserviency to popular will by the amount of their property. It 
was not by a mere figure of speech that the minister of Pyrrhus 
called the Roman Senate " an Assembly of Kings/' Many of its 
members had exercised Sovereign power ; many were preparing to 
exercise it. 

§ 10. The power of the Senate was equal to its dignity. It 
absorbed into its ranks a large proportion of the practical ability of 
the community. It was a standing Council, in which all official 
functions were annual. And thus it is but natural that it should 
engross the chief business of the State. 

In regard to Legislation, it exercised an absolute control over the 
Centuriate Assembly, because no law could be submitted to its votes 
which had not originated in the Senate ; and thus the vote of the Cen- 
turies could not do more than place a veto on a Senatorial Decree. 

In respect to Foreign Affairs, the power of the Senate was absolute, 
except in declaring war or concluding treaties of peace, — matters 
which were submitted to the votes of the People. They assigned to 
the Consuls and Praetors their respective provinces of administration 
and command ; they fixed the amount of the troops to be levied 

o 3~ 

Augustus finally fixed it at 1,200,000 sesterces (about 10,500/.). 


every year from the list of Roman citizens, and of the contingents to 
be furnished by the Italian allies. They prolonged the command of 
a general or superseded him at pleasure. They estimated the sums 
necessary for the military chest ; nor could a sesterce be paid to the 
General without their order. If a Consul proved refractory, they 
could transfer his power for the time to a Dictator ; even if his suc- 
cess had been great, they could refuse him the honour of a Triumph. 
Ambassadors to foreign states were chosen by them and from them ; 
all disputes in Italy or beyond seas were referred to their sovereign 

In the administration of Home Affairs the regulation of religious 
matters was in their hands ; they exercised superintendence over the 
Pontiffs and other ministers of public worship. They appointed 
days for extraordinary festivals, for thanksgiving after victory, for 
humiliation after defeat. But, which was of highest importance, all 
the Financial arrangements of the State were left to their discretion. 
The Censors, at periods usually not exceeding five years in duration, 
formed estimates of annual outlay, and provided ways and means 
for meeting these estimates ; but always under the direction of the 

In all these matters, both of Home and Foreign administration, 
their Decrees had the power of law. In times of difficulty they 
had the power of suspending all rules of law, by the appointment of 
a Dictator, or by investing the Consuls with Dictatorial power. 

Besides these Administrative functions, they might resolve them- 
selves into a High Court of Justice for the trial of extraordinary 
offences. But in this matter they obtained far more definite authority 
by the Calpurnian Law, which about fifty years later established 
High Courts of Justice, in which rrastors acted as presiding judges, 
and Senators were Jurymen. 

It appears, then, that the Senate of Rome was not, like our Par- 
liament, a merely deliberative and legislative body, but a great 
Sovereign Council, controlling every branch of administration, and 
nearly all matters of legislation also. The Consuls and Prcetors were 
its Ministers of Foreign and Home Affairs ; the Censors its Ministers 
of Finance ; the Quaestors its Treasurers and Paymasters ; the iEdiles 
its Superintendents of Police and Public Works. It was at the pre- 
sent time, and for many years later, the main-spring of the Roman 

§ 11. Our attention must now be directed to the two great Legis- 
lative Assemblies of the Roman People, well known respectively 
under the names of the Assembly of the Classes and Centuries, and 
the Assembly of the Tribes, which had now entirely superseded the 
ancient Patrician Assembly of the Curies, 

At some time between the Decemvirate and the Second Punic 


War, a complete reform had been made in the Centuriate Assem- 
bly, as organised by Servius. When this was we know not. Nor do 
we know the precise nature of the reform. This only is certain, that 
the distribution of the whole People into Tribes was taken as the 
basis of division in the Centuriate Assembly as well as in the Assem- 
bly of the Tribes, and yet that the division into Classes and Centuries 
was still retained, as well as the division into Seniores and Juniores. 

It may be assumed that the whole People was convened accord- 
ing to its division into Thirty-five Tribes ; that in each Tribe account 
was taken of the five Classes, arranged according to an ascending 
scale of property, which, however, had been greatly altered* from 
that attributed to Servius ; and that in each Tribe each of the five 
Classes was subdivided into two Centuries, one of Seniores, or men 
between forty-five and sixty, one of Juniores, or men between 
eighteen and forty-five. On the whole, then, with the addition of 
eighteen Centuries of Knights, there would be 368 Centuries. This 
plan, though it allowed far less influence to wealth than the plan of 
Servius, would yet leave a considerable advantage to the richer 
classes. For it is plain that the two Centuries of the First Class in 
each Tribe would contain far fewer members than the two Centuries 
of the Second Class, those of the Second fewer than those of the 
Third, and all those of the first four together, probably, fewer than 
those of the Fifth. Yet these four Classes having in all 280, or (with 
the Knights) 298 Centuries, would command an absolute majority ; 
for the question was still decided not by the majority of persons, but 
by the majority of Centuries. 

§ 12. While the Centuriate Assembly was becoming more popular 
in its constitution, a still more democratic body had come into exist- 
ence, namely, the Assembly of the Tribes. 

There can be no doubt that when the Centuriate Assembly was 
restored by the Patricians after the expulsion of Tarquin, it was 
intended to be the sole Legislative body. The more recent Legis- 
lative Assembly of the Tribes was a spontaneous growth of popular 
will, not contemplated by statesmen. The Tribe Assembly, originally 
intended to conduct the business of the Plebeian Order, gradually 
extended its power over the whole Body politic ; and its resolutions 
or ordinances (Plebiscita) became laws. 

The Tribunes were, as their name denotes, the Presidents and 
Ministers of the Tribes. They were originally invested with political 
authority for the purpose of protecting the persons of the Plebeians 
from the arbitrary punishments inflicted by the Patrician Magis- 
trates. It was no doubt intended that this authority should be only 
suspensive, so as to prevent sudden acts of violence. But the Tri- 
bunes soon assumed the licence of standing between Plebeians and 

* Altered, according to Mommsen, i. p. 96, because the original census was 
in land ; and land had risen enormously in value. 


the law. Thus they established the celebrated right of intercession, 
which in course of time they extended to all matters. They forbade 
trials, stopped elections, put a veto on the passing of laws. So far, 
however, their power was only negative. But when the Tribe As- 
sembly obtained legislative rights, the Tribunes obtained a positive 
authority. The power of the Tribunes and of the Tribes implied 
each other. The Plebeian Assembly was dead without able and 
resolute Tribi^nes ; the Tribunes were impotent without the demo- 
cracy at their back. 

This relation was at once established when the election of the 
Tribunes was committed to the Tribes themselves: The Tribunes 
soon began to summon the Tribes to discuss political questions ; and 
the formidable authority which they now wielded appeared in the 
overthrow of the Decemvirate and the recognition of the Tribe As- 
sembly as a Legislative body. The political powers gained by the 
Valerio-Horatian laws were confirmed and extended by the popular 
Dictators, Q. Publilius Philo and Q. Hortensius. 

§ 13. Thus the Roman Constitution presents us with the ap- 
parent anomaly of two distinct Legislative Assemblies, each inde- 
pendent of the other ; for laws passed in the one did not require the 
sanction of the other, as is the case with our Houses of Parliament. 
Nor were any distinct provinces of action assigned respectively to 
each. This being so, we should expect to find the one clashing with 
the other ; to hear of popular laws emanating from the one body met 
with a counter-project from the other. But no such struggles are 
recorded. The only way in which it can be known that a particular 
law is due to the more popular or to the more aristocratic Assembly 
is by looking to the name of the mover, by which every law was 
designated. If the name be that of a Tribune, the law must be 
referred to the Tribe Assembly. If the name be that of a Consul, 
Praetor, or Dictator, the law must be referred to the Centuriate As- 
sembly. What, then, were the causes which prevented collisions 
which appear inevitable ? 

§ 14. First, it must be remembered that, though the Centuriate 
Assembly had been made more democratic, yet the Tribe Assembly 
was very far indeed from a purely democratic body. In the latter, 
the suffrages were taken by the head in each of the thirty-five 
Tribes, and if eighteen Tribes voted one way, and seventeen another, 
the question was decided by the votes of the eighteen. But the 
eighteen rarely, if ever, contained an absolute majority of citizens. 
For the whole population of Rome, with all the Freedmen, were 
thrown into four Tribes only, and if these four Tribes were in the 
minority, there can be no doubt that the minority of Tribes represented 
a majority of voters. Thus, even in the more popular Assembly, 
there was not wanting a counterpoise to the will of the mere majority. 


§ 15. A still more effective check to collision is to be found in 
the fact that all measures proposed to the Tribe Assembly by the 
Tribunes, as well as the Oenturiate Laws proposed by the Consuls or 
other Ministers of the Senate, must first receive the sanction of the 
Senate itself. The few exceptions which occur are where Tribunes 
propose a Resolution granting to a popular Consul the Triumph 
refused by the Senate, But these exceptions only serve to prove 
the rule. 

§ 16. Our surprise that no collision is heard of between the two 
Assemblies now takes another form, and we are led to ask how it 
came that, if all measures must be first approved by the Senate, 
any substantial power at all could belong to the Tribes ? It would 
seem that they also, like the Centuriate Assembly, could at most 
exercise only a veto on measures emanating from the great Council. 

That this result did not follow, is due to the rude but formidable 
counter-check provided by the Tribunate. The persons of the Tri- 
bunes were inviolable ; but the Tribunes had power to place even 
Consuls under arrest. By the advance of their intercessory pre- 
rogative they gradually built up an authority capable of overriding 
all other powers in the State. 

§ 17. We are now better able to appreciate the position of the two 
Assemblies as Legislative Bodies. The Tribe Assembly was pre- 
sided over by officers of its own choice, invested with authority 
generally sufficient to extort from the Senate leave to bring in Laws 
of a popular character. No such power resided in the Presidents of 
the Centuriate . Assembly : for the Consuls were little more than 
Ministers of the Senate. It was natural that the more energetic will 
of the popular leaders should exalt their own Assemblies ; and as 
two Legislative Assemblies could not coexist with full and inde- 
pendent powers, it was no less natural that the more aristocratic 
body should suffer decay. The Centuriate Assembly more and 
more became a passive instrument in the hands of the Senate. 
The Tribe Assembly rose to be the organ of popular opinion. 

§ 18. In other matters, the powers of the two Assemblies were 
more definitely marked and the limits better observed. 

In Elections, the Centuriate Assembly always retained the right 
of choosing. the chief officers of State, the Consuls, Praetors, and 
Censors. The Tribe Assembly, originally, elected only their own Tri- 
bunes and the Plebeian iEdiles. But in no long time they obtained 
the right of choosing also the Curule iEdiles, the Quaestors, the great 
majority of the Legionary Tribunes, and all inferior Officers of State. 
But as the Centuries were, generally, obliged to elect their Praetors 
and Consuls out of those who had already been elected Quaestors and 
iEdiles by the Tribes, it is manifest that the elective power of the 
former was controlled and over-ridden by the latter. In conferring 


extraordinary commands, such as that of Scipio in Spain, the Tribes 
were always consulted, not the Centuries. 

§ 19. In regard to Jurisdiction, it has before been noticed that 
Rome was tender of the personal liberties of her citizens. Various 
Laws of Appeal provided for an open trial before his peers of any 
one charged with grave offences, such as would subject him to 
stripes, imprisonment, or death (Chapt. x. § 24). Now the Cen- 
turies alone formed a High Court of Justice for the trial of citizens ; 
the Tribe Assembly never achieved this dangerous privilege. But 
the Tribunician power offered to the chief officers of the Tribes a 
ready means of interference ; for they could use their right of inter- 
cession to prevent a trial, and thus screen real offenders from justice. 
But more frequently they acted on the offensive. There was a 
merciful provision of the law of Rome, by which a person liable to 
a state-prosecution might withdraw from Italian soil at any time 
before his trial, and become the citizen of some allied city, such as 
Syracuse or Pergamus. But the Tribunes sometimes threw culprits 
into prison before trial, as in the case of App. Claudius the Decemvir 
and his father. Or, after a culprit had sought safety in voluntary 
exile, they proposed a Bill of Outlawry, by which he was " inter- 
dicted from fire and water" on Italian soil, and all his goods were 
confiscated. Offending Magistrates were also fined heavily, without 
trial, by special Plebiscita, which resembled the Bills of Attainder 
familiar to the reader of English history. 

These encroachments of the Tribunes were met by other uncon- 
stitutional measures on the part of the Senate. To bar the action of 
the Tribunes and to suspend the Laws of Appeal, they at one time 
had constant recourse to Dictatorial appointments. These appoint- 
ments ceased after the Second Punic War ; but after this, in critical 
times, the Senate assumed the right of investing the Consuls with 
dictatorial power. 

§ 20. It must not here be forgotten that of late years circum- 
stances had greatly exalted the power of the Senate and propor- 
tionally diminished the power of the Tribunes. In great wars, 
especially such as threaten the existence of a community, the voice 
of popular leaders is little heard. Reforms are forgotten. Agitation 
ceases. Each man applies his energies to avert present danger, 
rather than to achieve future improvements. The Senate under the 
leading of old Fabius Cunctator ruled absolutely for several years. 
Even elections to the Consulate, which he deemed inopportune, were 
set aside, — a thing almost without example, before and after, in 
Roman constitutional history. Fabius was at length superseded by 
young Scipio, who in his turn became absolute, and at the close of 
the war might have made himself Dictator, had he been so pleased. 
At present, popular spirit had fallen asleep. Constitutional opj o- 


sition there was none. The Senate seemed likely to retain in peace 
the power which war had necessarily thrown into their hands. 
• § 21. We will now give a brief account of the provincial govern- 
ment of Rome, in which the Latin and Italian allies are not in- 
cluded. At the close of the Hannibalic War, Rome was in pos- 
session, nominally, of five Provinces, Sicily, Sardinia, the Gallic 
coast of Umbria (then called the Province of Ariminum), with 
Hither and Further Spain. But of these, Sardinia and the Spaina 
were almost to be conquered again ; and Gallic Umbria was shortly 
after absorbed into Italy, while the magnificent district between the 
Alps and the Gulf of Genoa became the Province of Gaul. Sicily 
was the only Province as yet constituted on a solid foundation. To 
Sicily, therefore, we will confine our remarks ; a course which is 
further recommended by the fact that we are better informed with 
regard to Sicily than with regard to any other of the foreign posses- 
sions of the Republic. 

§ 22. We must call to mind that, in speaking of Sicily as of Italy, 
we are not to think of the country as a whole, but as broken up into 
a number of Civic Communities, each being more or less isolated 
from the rest. At the close of the First Punic War, when the 
Romans had expelled the Carthaginians from the island, the greater 
part of it was formed into a Province ; while the kingdom of Hiero, 
consisting of Syracuse with six dependent communities,* was re- 
ceived into free alliance with Rome. But in the Second Punic War, 
Syracuse and all Sicily was reconquered by Marcellus and Lsevinus, 
and the form of the Provincial Communities was altered. The cities 
of Sicily were now divided into three classes. First, there were 
those cities which had been taken by siege : these, twenty-six in 
number, were mulcted of their territory, which became part of the 
Public Land of Rome ; their former citizens had perished in war, or 
had been sold as slaves, or were living as serfs on the soil which they 
had formerly owned. Secondly, there were a large number of Com- 
munities, thirty-four in all, which retained the fee-simple of their 
land, but were burthened with payment of a tithe of corn, wine, oil, 
and other produce, according to a rule established by Hiero, in the 
district subject to Syracuse. Thirdly, there were eight Communi- 
ties left independent, which were, like the Italians, free from all 

These states were all left in possession of Municipal institutions ; 
they had the right of self-government in all local matters, with 
popular assemblies and councils, such as were common in Greek 
communities. But all were subject to the authority of a Governor, 
sent from Rome, with the title of Prsetor, whose business it was to 
adjudicate in all matters where the interests of Rome or of Roman 
* Acrae, Leontini, Megara, Helorur.n, Netum, Tauroiuenium. 


citizens were concerned, and, above all, to provide for the regular 
payment of the imposts. In Sicily, which in those days was a well- 
cultivated and productive country, this department was so important 
that the Praetor was assisted by two Quaestors, one stationed at Syra- 
cuse, the other at Lilybaeum. 

§ 23. This brief statement will show the principles of Roman Pro- 
vincial government. Communities which, during the War of Con- 
quest, had joined the invaders at once or at a critical point in the 
war, were left free from all ordinary and annual imposts. Cities 
that were taken by force became, with their territory, the absolute 
property of Rome. Between these extremes there was a large class, 
which retained full possession of their lands, and complete local in- 
dependence, but were subject to the payment of yearly imposts to 
the imperial treasury, which were levied on the produce of their land. 
All alike were obliged to contribute towards the expenses of the 
Praetor's court and government. 

The most important distinction between the Italian and Provincial 
dominions of Rome consisted in taxation. It was a general rule that 
all Italian land was tax-free ; and that all Provincial land, except 
such as was specified in treaties or in Decrees of the Senate, was sub- 
ject to tax. Henco the exemption of land from taxation was known 
by the technical name of Jus Italicum or the Right of Italy. 

This last distinction implies that the imperial revenues were 
raised chiefly from the Provinces. We will take this opportunity 
of giving a brief account of the different sources from which the 
revenues of Rome were raised. 

The Imperial Treasury was in the ancient Temple of Saturn, situ- 
ated at the end of the Forum beneath the Capitol. Here the two 
Quaestors of the City deposited all the moneys received on account 
of the State, and no disbursements could be made without an order 
from an officer authorised by the Senate. The sources of receipt 
were two-fold, ordinary and extraordinary. 

§ 24. The Ordinary Revenues consisted of the proceeds and rent 
of public property, custom-duties, tolls, and the like, and the tax 
levied on Provincial lands. 

The property of the State was, as has often been noticed, very 
large. Much of the Public Land, however, had been distributed to 
Colonies, and the rent received for the rest seems to have been 
small. Yet the quantity of undistributed land in Italy and Sicily 
was so great, that it must have yielded a considerable revenue. 
Besides this, the fisheries, with all mines and quarries, were con- 
sidered public property. Even the manufacture of salt was a State 
monopoly from the Censorship of M. Livius, who thenceforth bore 
the name of Salinator, or the Salt-maker. 

Besides these rents and monopolies, custom-duties were levied oq 


certain kinds of goods, both exports and imports, and tolls (called 
portoria) ere demanded for passengers and goods carried by canals 
or across bridges and ferries. 

There was also an ad valorem duty of five per cent, imposed on 
the manumission of slaves. This was not carried to the account 
of the year, but laid by as a reserve-fund, not to be used except in 
great emergencies. 

The revenue derived from the Provincial Land-tax was only be- 
ginning to be productive, but in a few years it formed the cnief 
income of the Republic. 

§ 25, It appears that for the Civil government of the Republic the 
Ordinary Revenues were found sufficient. The current expenses, 
indeed, were small. The Italian and Provincial Communities de- 
frayed the expenses of their own administration. Rome herself, 
as we have said, claimed the services of her statesmen and admi- 
nistrators without paying them any public salaries. 

In time of war, however, the Ordinary Revenues failed, and to 
meet the expenses of each year's campaign an Extraordinary Tax 
was levied as required. This was the Tributum or Property-tax. 
Its mode of assessment marks its close association with war-expenses. 
We have seen above that the whole arrangement of the Centuriate 
Assembly was military. Not the least important of these was the 
Census or Register of all citizens, arranged according to their age 
and property. It was made out by the Censors at intervals of five 
years, and served during the succeeding period as the basis of tax- 
ation. The necessities of each year determined the amount to be 
levied. It was usually one in a thousand, or one-tenth per cent. ;* 
but once, in the second Punic War, the rate was doubled. The 
Senate had the power of calling for this payment. 

At length it became necessary to call on wealthy individuals 
to furnish seamen, and to advance money by way of loan ; and 
contracts were formed with commercial companies to furnish 
stores and clothing for the army, in return for which they received 
orders on the Treasury payable at some future time. The obli- 
gations thus contracted were not left as a national debt. The first- 
instalment of repayment was made immediately after the sub- 
mission of Carthage ; the second and third at successive intervals 
of four years. 

At length, in the year 167 B.C., the payments exacted from the 
Provincials became so large that the Senate was enabled to dispense 
with extraordinary taxes altogether; and thus the ordinary reve- 
nues sufficed for the expenses of all future wars, as well as for the 
civil administration. 

* This was the simplex tributum. The word tributum was used because 
this war-tax was collected in each tribe according to the assessment of the 
Censors. The tribe-officers who collected it were the Tribuni Aerariu 


§ 26. The allied Communities of Italy, the Municipia and Colo- 
nies, were free from all direct burthens, except in time of war. 
Then each Community was required, according to a scale furnished 
by its own Censor, to supply contingents of soldiery to the Roman 
army, such contingents bearing a proportion to the number of legions 
levied by the Romans themselves in any given year. The Italian 
soldiery were fed by Rome ; but their equipments and pay were pro- 
vided at the expense of their own States ; and therefore it is plain 
that every Italian Community was indirectly subject to a war-tax. 
But though these Communities suffered the burthens of war like 
Rome, they did not like Rome profit by war. The Roman Treasury 
repaid taxes raised for the conduct of war ; but such repayment 
was confined to Romans. The soldiers of the Latin and Italian 
towns obtained their share of booty ; but their citizens at home had 
no hope of repayment. Moneys paid into the Roman Treasury were 
applicable to Roman purposes only. The Italians, though they 
shared the danger and the expense, were not allowed to share the 
profit. Here was a fertile field for discontent, which afterwards 
bore fatal fruits. 

§ 27. In the Provinces, on the other hand, little military service 
was required : but direct imposts were levied instead. 

This system was itself galling and onerous. It was as if England 
were to defray the expenses of her own administration from the pro- 
ceeds of a tax levied upon her Indian Empire.- But the system was 
made much worse by the way in which the taxes were collected. 
This was done by contract. Every five years the taxes of the Pro- 
vinces were put up to public auction ; and that company of con- 
tractors which outbade the rest would receive the contract. The 
Farmers of the Taxes, therefore, offered to pay a certain sum to the 
Imperial Treasury for the right of collecting the taxes and imposts 
of Sicily, gave security for payment, and then made what profit 
they could out of the taxes collected. The members of these com- 
panies were called Publicani, and the Farmers-general, or chiefs of 
the companies, bore the name of Mancipes. It is manifest that this 
system offered a premium on extortion : for the more the tax-col- 
lectors could wring from the Provincials, the more they would have 
for themselves. The extortions incident to this system form a prin- 
cipal topic in the Provincial history of Rome. 

Remains of Aqueduct at Rome. 



§ 1. The Third Century before Christ the Golden Age of Rome. § 2. The 
Towns chiefly peopled by the Nobles and their dependents : § 3. the 
Country by the Yeomen : their condition in these times. § 4. Excess of 
population relieved by Home Colonies. § 5. Increase in the number of 
Slaves by conquest : their social condition. § 6. Condition of the Freed- 
men: Rustic and Civic Tribes. §7. Family life of Romans: Marriage: 
paternal authority. § 8. Religion : its influence on morality. § 9. No 
faith or humanity towards Foreigners. § 10. The Language of Rome quite 
formed after First Punic war : versification. §11. Native Literature of 
Rome Hellenized by the conquest of Magna Graecia. § 12. M. Livius 
Andronicus the first Hellenizing writer. § 13. Cn, Nsevius : his opposition 
to Hellenism, § 14. Q. Ennius secures the ascendancy of Hellenizing 
Literature. §15. Prose Writers. §16. Early specimens of Roman Art : 
due to Grseco-Etruscan artists. § 17. Pure Greek Art introduced after 
conquest of Magna Graecia. § 18. Slow progress in the mechanical Arts. 
§19. Rudeness of houses, agriculture, &c. §20. Architecture: greatness 
of the Romans as engineers and builders. § 21. Use of the arch. § 22. 
Attention to sanatory rules at Rome. § 23. Tunnels. 

§ 1. The age of which we have been treating, from the Samnite 
War to the close of the Punic Wars, was always considered by the 


Romans, and is still considered by their admirers, to have been the 
golden age of the republic. A people which handed down the 
legends of Cincinnatus, Curius, Fabricius, Regulus, can hardly not 
have practised the • thrift and honesty which they admired. The 
characters are no doubt idealised ; but they may be taken as types 
of their times. In the Roman country districts, and still more in 
the Apennine valleys, the habits of life were no doubt simple, 
honest, and perhaps rude, of Sabine rather than of Hellenic cha- 
racter, the life of countrymen rather than of dwellers in the town. 

§ 2. It has been remarked that the Italians, like the Greeks, must 
be regarded as members of Cities or Civic Communities. But the 
walled towns which were the centres of each community were mostly 
the residence of the chief men and their dependents and slaves, 
while the mass of the free citizens were dispersed over the adjoining 
country district, dwelling on their own farms, and resorting to the 
town only to bring their produce to market or to take their part in 
the political business transacted at the general assemblies. Such 
was the case at Rome in early times. The great patrician lords with 
their families dwelt in strong houses or castles on the Capitoline, 
Palatine, and Quirinal Hills, while their clients thronged the lower 
parts adjacent. As the Plebeians increased in wealth and power, 
their great men established themselves at first upon the Cselian and 
Aventine, and afterwards indiscriminately on all the Hills. 

§ 3. In the country districts of Rome the greater part of the land 
was still in the hands of small proprietors, who tilled their own 
lands by the* aid of their sons and sons-in-law. In the earliest times 
the dimensions of these Plebeian holdings were incredibly small, an 
allotment being computed at not more than 2 jugera (about 1| acres). 
Even with very fertile soil and unremitting labour, such a piece of 
land could barely maintain a family. But to eke out the produce 
of their tilled lands, every free citizen had a right to feed a certain 
number of cattle on the common pastures at the expense of a small 
payment to the State ; and in this way even a large family might liv<* 
in rude abundance. In no long time, however, the plebeian allotments 
were increased to 7 jugera (about 4 J acres) ; and this increase of 
tilled lands indicates .a corresponding improvement in the habits and 
comforts of the people, — an improvement attributed, as all benefits 
conferred on the Plebeians in early times were attributed, to King 
Servius. And this long remained the normal size of the small 
properties then so common in the Roman district. The farm and 
public pasture produced all that the family required, — not only food, 
but flax and wool, which the matron and her daughters dressed and 
spun and wove, wood and stone for building and farm implements, 
everything except metals and salt, which were (as we have seen) 
state monopolies. 


§ 4. But a golden age generally comes to an end with increase 
of population. Mouths to be fed multiply ; the yeomen sell their 
little farms and emigrate, or become satisfied with a lower scale of 
living as hired labourers. The Eomans had a remedy for these 
evils in a home colonisation. The immense quantity of Public 
Land in the hands of the State, with the necessity of securing 
newly-conquered districts of Italy, led to the foundation of numerous 
Colonies between the Samnite and Punic Wars, and extended the 
means of material wellbeing to every one who was willing and able 
to work ; and this not only for Eomans, but for Latins and others 
who were invited to become citizens of the Colony. 

§ 5. If, however, the superfluous sons of families settled on lands 
in Samnium, or Apulia, or Cisalpine Gau], others must have lost 
these lands ; and the question naturally occurs : — What had become 
of these people? This question brings us 'to the worst point in 
ancient society, — that is, Slavery. 

It was the practice of ancient nations to regard all conquered 
persons as completely in the light of booty as cattle or lifeless 
goods. If indeed the enemy surrendered without a blow, they 
became subjects. But those who were taken after a struggle were 
for the most part sold into slavery. In early times this evil was 
small. Nor was it to be expected that the small proprietors could 
afford either to buy or to maintain slaves. They were acquired by 
the rich Patricians and Plebeians, who held large tracts of public 
land, or who had acquired large estates of their own. Before the 
Decemvirate, their debtors were their slaves. But this custom had 
been long abolished, and it was conquest which supplied slaves to 
the rich. After the conquest of Samnium, 36,000 persons are said 
to have been sold. After the reduction of Cisalpine Gaul and Sicily, 
still larger numbers were brought to the hammer. These were the 
wretches on whose lands the poorer sort of Eoman citizens settled. 
The slaves may generally be divided into two great classes, the 
Urban or City Slaves, and those of the Country. They had no 
civil rights ; they could not contract legal marriage ; they had no 
power over their children ; they could hold no property in their own 
name ; their very savings were not their own, but held by consent 
of their master;*' all law proceedings ran in the name of their 
masters. For crimes committed, they were tried by the public 
courts ; and the masters were held liable for the damage done, but 
only to the extent of the slave's value. To kill, maim, or maltreat 
a slave, was considered as damage to his master, and could only be 
treated as such. No pain or suffering inflicted on a slave was 
punishable, unless loss had thereby accrued to the owner. 

* Peculium (i. e. pecum'olum) was the name of such savings. 


But human nature is too strong always to fulfil conditions so 
cruel. There is no doubt that the slaves of the household were 
often treated with kindness ; often they became the confidential 
advisers of their masters. The steward or bailiff of a rich man's 
estate, his Villicus, was a person of considerable power. Still the 
mass of the slaves, especially the agricultural slaves, were treated as 
mere cattle. Some poor drudges were the slaves of other slaves, 
such ownership being allowed by the masters. Cato recommends to 
sell off old and infirm slaves, so as to save the expense of keeping 
live lumber. Englishmen feel a pang at seeing a fine horse con- 
signed in his old age to the drivers of public carriages ; but Romans 
wasted no such sympathy on slaves who had spent their lives and 
strength in cultivating their lands. Notwithstanding the better 
treatment of the house-slaves, the humane Cicero reproached him- 
self with feeling too much sorrow for one who had been for years 
his tried and faithful servant. It was in the next half-century, 
however, that slaves increased so much in Italy as to produce great 
effect upon the social condition of the people. At present the evil 
was only in its beginning. 

Here it must be remarked that the practice of giving liberty to 
slaves was very common. The prospect of freedom as a reward for 
good conduct must have done much to prevent Roman bondsmen 
from sinking into that state of animal contentment and listless 
indifference which marks the negro slaves of our own times. 

§ 6. The Freedmen filled no mean space in Roman society. 
Among them were to be found able and well-educated men, who 
had held a high station in their native country, and often obtained 
great influence over the minds of their masters. Freedmen exercised 
most branches of retail trade, and formed the shopkeepers and petty 
traders and artizans of Rome : for Roman citizens, however poor, 
could in early times condescend to no business except that of agri- 
culture. Rich men carried on trades by means of their slaves and 
freedmen ; in later times Freedmen often worked as artists under 
some Patrician roof, and many of the early poets were Freedmen. 

Here then we trace the beginning of a great distinction, that 
afterwards was more strongly marked, between the population of 
the City and the population of the Country, — between the Rustic 
and the Civic Tribes. 

§ 7. At the time of which we write, a patriarchal rule prevailed 
in the family. In early ages the refusal of the Patricians to recog- 
nise any right of legal marriage between themselves and the Ple- 
beians must have frequently led to illicit connexions. But this 
unnatural severance between the Orders was the first to give way ; 
and after the Canuleian Law, the simple marriage -rite of the Ple- 
beians was held equally binding upon all as the more solemn vows 


of the Patrician form.* It is a noteworthy fact, that Sp. Carvilius 
was the first person who put away his wife, and that the first 
example of divorce occurs as late as the year 231 B.C. This observ- 
ance of marriage as a sacred bond is striking. From it was derived 
the pure and lofty character of the ancient Roman Matron. At 
Rome it was not by clever and fascinating courtesans, such as Aspasia 
and Thais, but by wives and mothers, such as Lucretia and Vo- 
lumnia of the legends, such as Cornelia the mother of the Gracchi 
in actual history, that noble wishes and heroic thoughts were 
inspired into the hearts of the men. The chastity and frugality of 
the women found an answer in the temperance and self-devotion of 
the men. This is the more remarkable, since by the Roman law 
married women had no personal rights : they were subject to their 
husbands as absolutely as if they had been slaves. 

The same patriarchal power belonged to the father over his 
children, unless he thought fit to emancipate them, a process which 
was conducted with the same forms as the manumission of a slave. 
It was a terrible power ; yet we seldom hear of its being abused. 
Such a system no doubt prevented all gentleness of filial love. The 
old Romans had but one word — pietas — to express the veneration 
due from children to parents and from men to gods. But the 
sterner exercise of parental authority, with the general purity of 
morals, preserved youth from that wild intemperance, both of action 
and thought, which has often injured nations. 

§ 8. There can be little doubt that the simple morality of the 
times, maintained by habitual deference to authority, was con- 
firmed by the higher sanction of Religion. 

The Religion of Rome was, as the legends show, of Sabine origin. 
Much of its ceremonial, the names of many of its gods, were 
Etruscan : and Hellenic mythology began, at an early time, to 
mingle itself in the simple religious faith of the Sabine countrymen. 
The important question in the history of all religions, is how far 
they exert power over the lives of their professors. That the old 
faith of Rome was not without such power in the times of which 
we speak is unquestionable. The simple Roman husbandman 
lived and died, like his Sabine ancestors, in the fear of the gods ; he 
believed that there was something in the universe higher and better 
than himself ; that by these higher powers his life and actions were 
watched ; that to these powers good deeds and an honest life were 
pleasing, evil deeds and bad faith hateful. The principles thus 
established remained, as is confirmed by the weighty testimony of 
Polybius, delivered in a later and more corrupt age. 'J If," says he, 

* If two Plebeians lived together for a year, this was enough to constitute 
Matrimonium. But the union of Patricians required certain religious rites, 
called Confarreatio. 


" you lend a single talent to a Greek, binding him by all possible 
securities, yet he will break faith. But Roman magistrates, accus- 
tomed to have immense sums of money pass through their hands, are 
restrained from fraud simply by respect for the sanctity of an oath.' 5 

The Religion of Rome was wholly subject to the State. It had 
no clergy set apart and paid by special funds. The Pontiffs, 
Augurs, and Flamens, indeed, formed close corporations like the 
fellows of a college ; but in later times they were elected at the 

§ 9. But while morality, good faith, and self-denial prevailed 
among themselves, it is clear that the Romans laid no such re- 
strictions upon their dealings with other nations. This great defect 
is common to Rome with all antiquity. The calmest Greek philo- 
sopher, Aristotle, regarded barbarians as naturally the slaves of 
Greeks. International Law was unknown, except in certain formali- 
ties observed in declaring war and making peace, and in the respect 
paid to the persons of Ambassadors. This absence of common 
humanity and generosity to foreigners appears in many pages of 
this History, in none more strongly than in that which records the 
treatment of the Samnite leader 0. Pontius. Gleams of better 
feeling appear in the war with Pyrrhus : the chivalric character of 
the King awakened something of a kindred spirit in the stern and 
rigid Romans. But nothing could be more ungenerous than the 
conduct of Rome to Carthage, after the Mercenary War ; and still 
baser pieces of diplomacy occur in the subsequent dealings of the 
Senate with the Achasans and with Carthage. 

§ 10. We have now to speak of the intellectual condition of the 

In the period between the conquest of Italy and the close of the 
First Punic War a great change had taken place in the language of 
the Romans. The heterogeneous compound of Pelasgian, Oscan, 
and Sabine elements* had already been moulded into a clear, uni- 
form, and nervous instrument of thought. The oldest specimen 
extant of the Latin tongue is a Hymn of the Fratres Arvales, a 
rural priesthood, who used to go round the fields in spring, praying 
the earth to yield her increase. Its language is as different from 
the Latin of Horace as the English of Wyclif s Bible is from that of 
Dryden. Its antiquated forms recur in Inscriptions and Laws 
down to a late period ; for the Romans, like ourselves, did not easily 
relinquish old forms. But fragments remain, which were written 
between the First and Second Punic Wars ; and these, if the an- 
cient forms of spelling are altered, exhibit Latin in its complete 

* Introduction, Sect. ii. § 13. 


A change also had taken place in the versification. The metre of 
the ancient Hymn just mentioned is Saturnian, a kind of verse 
which much resembled our own ballad-metre, being regulated by 
accent or cadence solely, without regard to the laws of quantity so 
strictly observed by Greek and later Latin writers. But at the 
time of the Punic Wars we find the forms of Greek metres already 

§ 11. The revolution here indicated is no doubt due to the Hellenic 
influences which began to prevail at Eome after the conquest of 
Lower Italy and Sicily. If the compound structure of Latin may 
be compared to that of our own tongue, its destiny has been far dif- 
ferent. While English can boast of a more vigorous native litera- 
ture than any language except Greek, Latin is perhaps of all the 
most destitute of originality. The germs of a rude literature existed 
in the ancient Lays and Legends. The Romans, also, from the 
earliest times, seem to have been fond of dramatic representations. 
The Atellane Fables or Exodia of the Oscan tribes were a kind of 
pantomimic performance, which perhaps still survives in the Polici- 
nello of modern Italy. They were kept up to a late time even at 
Rome, and were extemporaneous pieces, in which it was not dis- 
graceful for the noblest youths to play a part. The Fescennine 
verses were no doubt the original of the only kind of literature 
which the Romans claim as their own, — that is, the Satura or 
Satire, a lively and caustic criticism of the foibles and follies of the 
day. Dramatic exhibitions are said to have been first borrowed from 
the Etruscans in the year 363 B.C., when a pestilence was raging at 
Rome ; but at this time the drama was a mere name, — the story 
being told by means of dancing and gesticulation, with music, but 
without words. The Roman Drama, however, such as we know it, 
was not so much borrowed or imitated as translated from the Greek 
originals. It arose in the period of tranquillity after the First Punic 
War, when the Temple of Janus was shut for a brief period. The 
vast increase of wealth which the Romans had lately won was of 
itself sufficient to give a stimulus to intellectual exertion as great as 
the Athenians received from their triumphs over the Persians. But 
in the conquered cities of Tarentum and Syracuse the Romans found 
a literature of unrivalled excellence, and it was not their nature to 
pursue with labour what they could adopt ready made. From this 
time dates the growth of the Grseco-Roman literature. In the 
well-known words of Horace, " captive Greece took captive her rude 

§12. The first author of whom we hear as presenting a finished 
drama to a Roman audience was a Greek named Andronicus. He 
was taken prisoner at the capture of Tarentum in 272 B.C., and be- 
came the slave of M. Livius Salinator. Afterwards he w T as set free, 

ROME. p 


when (according to custom) he adopted the first two names of his 
late master, adding his own name as a family appellation. Thus he 
became known as M. Livius Andronicus. His first piece was repre- 
sented about thirty years later, in which time he had mastered 
Latin completely, and added to it the polish of his native Greek. 
His plays continued to be read in the times of Cicero and Horace ; 
and though these authors speak of them with little respect, the fact 
that they were used as a text-book for boys at the school of Orbilius, 
when Horace himself was there, shows that they must have been 
written in a clear and grammatical style. Their titles — iEgisthus, 
Ajax, Helena, and the like — show from what source they were bor- 

§ 13. A brave stand against the new Hellenizing fashion was 
made by Cn. Naevius, a Campanian by birth. His name shows that 
he was not a Greek : the fact that he served in the Eoman armies 
during the First Punic War proves that he was a free citizen. In 
his earlier days he followed the example set by Andronicus, so far 
as to translate Greek Dramas. The names preserved show that, 
among the masters of Attic Tragedy, Euripides was his favourite. 
Nasvius, however, was of comic rather than of tragic vein, and he 
maintained the licence of the old Fescennine songs in attacking the 
foibles of the great men of his day. He lampooned the conqueror 
of Hannibal for licentious practices in early youth. Scipio laughed 
at the libel. But soon after the poet ventured to assail the powerful 
family of the Metelli, saying that 

Fato Metelli fiunt Romae Consul es. 
(The Metelli gain their honours not by merit, but by destiny.) 

The Metelli, or their family bard, retorted in Saturnian verse : 

Et Naevio poetse, qtium ssepe laederentur, 

Dabunt malum Metelli, dabunt malum Metelli. 

And they were as good as their word. He was thrown into prison, 
and remained there long enough to compose two comedies. He was 
set free by a Tribune on condition of his abstaining from personal 
libels. But he could not refrain from fresh attacks on the Senatorial 
Nobility, which at the close of the Second Punic War had become 
so powerful ; and he was obliged to flee to Utica, where he died 
about 203 B.C. He employed his latter days in the work which • 
made his name most famous, namely, in a sort of Epic Poem on the 
First Punic War, with accounts of early Eoman history introduced. 
The loss of this poem of Nsevius may be considered as the greatest ' 
loss which Latin literature has sustained. 

The bold and independent character of Na&vius appears frcm the 
epitaph he composed for himself. It is in Saturnian verse, and 


mournfully complains of the predominance which Greeks were daily 

gaining over the ancient Latin poetry : 

Mortales immortelles ftere si foret fas, 

Flerent Divee Camense Nsevium poetam. 

Itaque, postquam est Orcino traditus thesauro, 
Oblitel sunt Komse loqui- er Latina lingua*. 

§ 14. But at the very time when Nsevius, with the ardour of 
youth, was beginning first to imitate and then to oppose the Greek 
models introduced by Livius Andronicus, was born the man who 
fixed the Greek metres and forms of poetry irrevocably in Latin 
usage, and crushed for ever the old Roman Lays. This was Q. 
Eunius, a native of Rudiae in Calabria, an Italian probably by 
blood, a Greek by education, whose birth-year is fixed at 238 b.c. 
In early youth he settled in Sardinia, and from this island he was 
brought to Rome by Cato in 204, when he was now in his thirty- 
fifth year, just before the death of Nsevius. He lived in a small 
house on the Aventine, and earned a frugal living for fourteen years 
by teaching Greek to the young nobles. In this period he must 
have acquired that mastery over the Latin tongue which is so plainly 
marked in the fragments of his poems which remain. He died in 
the year before the battle of Pydna (168) at the age of seventy. In 
his latter years he suffered both from poverty and disease, which lie 
bore with fortitude ; the disease was caused by his too great fond- 
ness for jovial living. He fulfilled the forebodings of Nasvius : after 
him the Camena*, or Latin Muses, forgot their descent, and strove 
in all things to be Greek. The epitaph he wrote, to be placed under 
his bust, marks consciousness of this triumph : — 

Aspicite, o cives, senis Enni imaging formam : 

Hie vestrum panxit maxuma facta patrum. 
Nemo me lacrumis decoret, nee funera fletu 

Faxit. Cur ? Volito vivu' per ora vinlm. 

As his works belong entirely to the age which forms the subject of 
the next Book, we will reserve our notice of them. 

§ 15. The first writers of Latin prose were the Chroniclers Q. 
Fabius Pictor and L. Cincius Alimentus, who were both in their 
manhood before the invasion of Hannibal. Fabius served in the 
Gallic War of 225, rose to be a Senator, and was sent on an embassy 
to consult the Delphic Oracle after the disaster of Cannse. Cincius 
was somewhat younger ; he also became a Senator. At one time 
he fell into the hands of Hannibal, and some of Jiis statements with 
regard to the war were derived from the lips of the great Carthagi- 
nian himself. The principal matter treated by both these writers 
was that which then absorbed all interest ; they wrote Chronicles of 
the Second Punic War, and both prefixed a summary of early Roman 
History. Cincius seems to have been the most trustworthy : family 

p 2 


partialities often misled Fabius. It is to be noted that they both 
wrote in Greek, which was then the language of the learned, just as 
Latin was used by all European writers during the Middle Ages. 

§ 16. If Hellenic forms of thought and speech invaded the domain 
of Literature, much more was this the case with the Arts of Design. 
There are not wanting examples to show that before this time 
Sculpture and Painting were held in honour at Borne. The Consul 
Carviiius (in 293 B.C.) employed part of the spoils taken from the 
Samnites in setting up a colossal bronze statue on the Capitoline. 
A Quadriga, executed in terra cotta by an Etruscan artist, is ascribed 
to the same date. Statues were erected in the Forum to honour 
divers great men of olden time. Many temples were built in thanks- 
giving for victories, most of which were adorned by Etruscan or 
Greek artists. The Temple of Salus was ornamented about 305 B.C. 
by paintings from the hand of that C. Fabius who adopted the 
name of Pictor and transmitted it as an honour to his family. The 
Ogulnii, in their iEdileship (296 B.C.), set up in the Capitol a bronze 
group representing the Wolf suckling the Twins. A painting of the 
battle in which the Romans defeated Hiero in 263 adorned the walls 
of the Senate-House. 

Of these works, and others not recorded by history, no trace 
remains except the famous Wolf now preserved in the Capitoline 
Museum.* The Twins are a later addition, but the animal is pro- 
bably the original work noticed by Cicero and Livy. It bears the 
well-known marks of the archaic Greek art in the sharp, rigid forms 
of the limbs and muscles, the peculiar expression of the face, and 
the regular knots of hair about the neck and head. Here, then, we 
trace Hellenic artists at Rome. Others of the works mentioned are 
expressly assigned to Etruscan artists ; and it may be remarked that 
Fabius, the only native artist of whom we hear, belonged to a family 
always associated in history with Etruscans. 

§ 17. But when Rome had conquered Southern Italy, she was 
brought at once in contact with works of the finest Greek art. No 
coins of old Greece are so beautiful as those of her colonial settle- 
ments in the West ; and it is in the coins of Rome that we first 
trace the indisputable effect of Greek art. 

Up to the time when Italy was conquered, the Romans had used 
only copper money of a most clumsy and inconvenient kind. A 
pound of this metal by weight was stamped with the rude effigy of 
a ship's prow, and this w r as the original As or Libra. Gradually 
the As was reduced in weight till, in the necessities of the Second 
Punic War, it became only l-6th of the Libra by weight ; yet it 
retained its ancient name, just as our pound sterling of silver, 
originally equivalent to a pound Troy- weight, is now not more than 
* See woodcut to Chapt. i. 


l-3rd, or as the French livre is a much smaller fraction of that 
weight.* But even this diminished coin was clumsy for use, as 
trade increased with increasing empire. After the conquest of 
Southern Italy the precious metals became more plentiful, and the 
coinage of the conquered cities supplied beautiful models. The first 
denarius, or silver piece of ten ases, was struck in the year 269 B.C., 
and is evidently imitated from the coins of Magna Grcecia. The 
Ro:nan Generals who commanded in these districts stamped money 
for the use of their armies with the old insignia of the conquered 
cities. The workmanship is, indeed, inferior to the best specimens 
of Hellenic coins, but far superior to anything Roman, before or 
after. Gold coins of similar model were not struck- till near the 
close of the Hannibalic War (205 b.o.). The great mass of Roman 
coins which we possess belong to the last century of the Republic. 
They usually bear the family emblems of the person who presided 
over the mint, or of the Consuls for whose use they were struck, but 
the execution always remained rude and unattractive. 

Afterwards, Roman conquest gave the means of supplying works 
of art by the easier mode of appropriation. In the conquest of 
Etruria, years before, the practice had been begun : from Volsinii 
alone we read that 2000 statues were brought to Rome. In follow- 
ing years Agrigentum, Syracuse, Corinth, and other famous cities, 
sent the finest works of Hellenic Art to decorate the public buildings 
and public places of the barbarous City of the Tiber, or in many 
cases to ornament the villas of the rapacious generals. 

§ 18. In the more intellectual even of the Useful Arts the 
Romans made no great progress. The contrivances of Archimedes 
for the defence of Syracuse struck them with amazement. In 
Cicero's time they usually carried the sciences of Number and 
Magnitude no further than was necessary for practical arithmetic 
and mensuration. In 293 B.C. L. Papirius Cursor the younger set 
up a sun-dial at Rome, and thirty years later another was brought 
from Sicily by the Consul M. Valerius Messala ; but no one knew 
how to place them, so as to make the shadow of the gnomon an 
index of time. A water-clock, resembling our sand-glass, was not 
introduced till 159 B.C. 

§ 19. Nor were the common conveniences of life in an advanced 
state. Up to the year 264 the houses were commonly roofed with 
shingles of wood, like the Alpine cottages of our days ; then first 
earthen tiles began to supersede this rude material. Agriculture 
must have been roughly carried on by men who were as much 
soldiers as countrymen. The wine of Latium was so bad that 
Cineas, when he tasted it, said — and the witticism was remembered 

* When the pound of weight ceased to be the same with the pound of cur- 
rency, the former was usually designated ces grave. 


— " he did not wonder that the mother of such wine was hung 
so high ; " alluding to the Italian custom, still retained, of training 
the vine up elms and poplars, while in Greece it was trained (as in 
France and Germany) on short poles and exposed to all the heat of 
the sun. 

§ 20. A form of architecture called the Tuscan was mostly used, 
which bore an imperfect resemblance to that early Greek style 
usually called the Doric, But the existing remains of the Re- 
publican period are too scanty to allow of any precise statements. 
The true Arts of Ron.e were, then and always, the Arts of the 
Builder and Engineer. It would not be wrong to call the Romans 
the greatest Builders in the world. Some of their mighty works, 
works combining solidity of structure with beauty of form and 
utility of purpose, still remain for our admiration, having survived 
the decay of ages and the more destructive hands of barbarian con- 
querors. In every country subject to their sway, roads and bridges 
and aqueducts remain in sufficient number and perfection to justify 
all praise. We class the roads among the buildings, according to 
their own phraseology,* and their construction deserves the name as 
justly as the works upon our own railways. The first great military 
road and the first aqueduct are due to the old Censor Appius Csecus, 
and they both remain to preserve the memory of the man, often 
self-willed and presumptuous, but resolute, firm of purpose, noble in 
conception, and audacious in execution. Other aqueducts and 
other roads rapidly followed ; the spade and trowel were as much 
the instruments of Roman dominion as the sword and spear. By 
the close of the Punic Wars solid roads, carried by the engineer's 
art over broad and rapid streams, through difficult mountain- 
passes, across quaking morasses, had already linked Rome with 
Capua in the South, with Placentia and Cremona in the North. 
Such were the proud monuments of the Appii, the iEmilii, the 

§ 21. It may be said that these magnificent works, as well as 
the vast Amphitheatres and Baths which afterwards decorated 
Rome and every petty city in her provinces, were due to the 
invention of the Arch. This simple piece of mechanism, so won- 
derful in its results, first appears in the Great Cloaca. It was 
unknown to the Greeks, or at least not used by them. It may 
be that the Romans borrowed it from the Etruscans ; the Cloaca 
is attributed to an Etruscan king, and similar works are discovered 
in ruined cities of Etruria. But if they borrowed the principle 
they used it nobly, as witness the noble bridges still remaining, 
the copious streams carried over the plain for miles at the height 
of sixty or seventy feet from the level of the soil. If they had 
* Munire viam y was their phrase. 


little feeling for beauty and delicacy in the use of the pencil or 
the chisel, their buildings are stamped with a greatness which 
exalted the power of the State while it disregarded the pleasure of 
the individual. 

§ 22. Their attention to practical utility in draining and watering 
their city is especially noted by Strabo in contrast with the indiffer- 
ence shown by the Greeks to these matters. To the facts already 
stated may be added their rule, established so early as the year 
260 B.C., that no one should be buried within the city, — a rule 
scarcely yet adopted in London. From this time dates the beginning 
of those rows of sepulchral ironuments which the traveller beheld 
on either side of the road as lie entered the Eternal City. It was a 
gloomy custom, but better at least than leaving graveyards in the 
heart of crowded cities. 

§ 23. A striking proof of engineering skill is shown in the tunnels 
cut through solid rock for the purpose of draining off volcanic lakes : 
this art we may also believe to have been originally borrowed from 
the Etruscans. The first tunnel of which we hear was that by 
which the Alban Lake was partially let off during the siege of Veii, 
a work which was suggested by an Etruscan soothsayer. Other 
works of like kind still remain, though the time of their execution 
is not always known. Here shall be added the notice of one work 
of kindred sort, which happens by a rare coincidence to combine 
great utility with rarest beauty. The famous M* Curius Dentatus, 
when Censor in 272, cut a passage through the rock, by which the 
waters of Lake Velinus were precipitated into the Nar. By this 
means he recovered for his newly-conquered Sabine Clients a large 
portion of fertile land, and left behind the most lovely, if not the 
most sublime, of all waterfalls. The Falls of Terni, such is the 
famous name they now bear, were wrought by the hand of man. 
" Thousands of travellers visit them," says Niebuhr ; " how few 
know that they are not the work of Nature ! " 

Coin of Ptolemy Philadelphia. 



(b.o. 201—132.) 



§ 1. The East and West. § 2. The East from the death of Alexander to the 
Battle of Ipsus. § 3. Egypt at the present time. § 4. Syria. § 5. Per- 
gamus. § 6. Rhodes. § 7. Macedon. § 8. Athens. § 9. Sparta. § 10. 
Commencement of the Achaean League: its rapid rise under Aratus: 
unable to conquer Sparta, he makes the League subject to Macedon. 
§11. The iEtolians. § 12. War between the iEtolians and Achaeans : 
Philip V. of Macedon assists the latter: his successes. § 13. His imagi- 
nation fired by the news of Trasimene and Cannae : Demetrius of Pharos. 
§ 14. Philip's treaty with Hannibal. 

§ 1. So far, the countries round the Mediterranean had been 
divided, as it were, into two worlds, the Western and the 
Eastern : the "Western, in which Rome and Carthage were strug- 
gling for mastery ; the Eastern, in which the Macedonian suc- 
cessors of Alexander the Great were wasting their strength in 
wars. But from the moment that Philip V. of Macedon entered 
into alliance with Hannibal, the line of separation had been 
broken ; and Rome only waited her time to break in upon the 
enervated nations of the East. That time came when the battle 
of Zama had delivered her from the fear of Hannibal. 

§ 2. At the death of Alexander in 323 B.a, his vast Empire 
fell into distinct portions. The Generals of the Great King at 
first governed these provinces as Viceroys of Alexander's infant 
son. But this child was set aside ; and within twenty years of 


the King's death these Imperial Governors assumed the title of 
Sovereigns. Ptolemy became King of Egypt ; Seleucus, of Baby- 
lonia and the East ; Antigonus, with his son Demetrius, of 
Syria and Asia Minor ; Lysimachus, of Thrace ; Cassander, of 
Macedonia, with authority over the whole of Greece. 

Of these soldier-kings, the most ambitious of all were the 
Kings of Syria, Antigonus and Demetrius ; and the year 305 B.C. 
saw the other sovereigns combined against these two. A general 
war followed ; and in 301 B.C., the battle of Ipsus made a con- 
siderable change in these Macedonian monarchies. Seleucus 
became master of the greater part of Asia Minor and of Northern 
Syria ; Phoenicia and Ccel6- Syria fell into the hands of the King 
of Egypt. 

We must add a brief account of these kingdoms down to the 
period of the Second Punic War. 

§ 3. Egypt enjoyed long tranquillity. In the course of the 
eighty years which followed the battle of Ipsus, the Kings of 
Egypt quietly extended their sway over parts of Arabia and 
Libya, as well as Lower Syria, and became masters of Lycia and 
Caria, of Cyprus and the Cyclades. The flourishing Kepublic of 
Ehodes was their ally. Trade flourished ; art and literature 
reached a height unknown since the best days of Athens : the 
natural sciences were cultivated with unexampled success. 
Alexandria increased daily in wealth and population, and became 
(as its great founder intended) the chief seat of trade between 
the East and West. Yet this prosperity was not long-lived. 
The decline of the monarchy may be dated from the accession of 
the fourth Ptolemy, surnamed Philopator ; and so rapid was it, 
that when he died, towards the close of the Second Punic War 
(205 B.C.), the ministers of his infant son Epiphanes were obliged 
to look around for some powerful patron to defend the inherit- 
ance of their master from the Kings of Macedon and Syria, who 
had impudently agreed to divide it between them. 
. .In the year 273 B.C., Philadelphia formed an alliance with 
Rome (chapt. xxiii. § 3) ; and her attitude of superiority after the 
struggle with Carthage attracted the notice of all the Mediter- 
ranean nations. The Senate, therefore, were requested to become 
guardians of the boy-king, and they accepted the office. 

§ 4. After the death of Seleucus, the monarchy of Syria fell into 
decay. His son, Antiochus I., shifted the seat of the monarchy 
from Babylon to his new city of Antiocheia (Antioch) on the 
Orontes, And thus the Eastern Provinces were left open to the 
inroads of the Parthians. Asia Minor was lost to the monarchy. 
The kings of Macedon gained a footing in Mysia and Ionia ; 
Caria and Lycia fell into the hands of the Egyptian sovereigns : 



Bithynia, Oappadocia, and Pontus became independent princi- 
palities ; Northern Phrygia was occupied by hosts of vagrant 
Gauls, who gave name to the district called Galatia ; a Greek 
eunuch, named Philetserus, Treasurer of Lysimachus, King of 
Thrace, gained possession of the city of Pergamus. He trans- 
mitted his principality to his nephew Eumenes, and Attalus, 
another nephew, succeeding to Eumenes, took the title of King. 
Most of the Greek cities on the coast, with the islands of Lesbos, 
Chios, and Samos, became independent. Such was the con- 
dition of things in 223 B.C., when Antiochus III. ascended the 
throne, and turned his arms against the Parthians with so much 
success that he assumed the title of the Great. 

§ 5. Attalus, King of Pergamus, saw his advantage in siding 
with Rome. Threatened by the King of Macedonia on the north, 
and by the King of Syria on the South, he at once threw himself 
into the arms of this powerful ally, and was of no small use to 
the Roman commanders. 

§ 6. The Republic of Rhodes rapidly recovered from the ter- 
rible siege which it had sustained from Demetrius Poliorcetes.* 
After Alexandria, Rhodes was the chief commercial place in 
the Eastern part of the Mediterranean. The government was 
conducted on upright principles ; her citizens commanded the 
respect of all who had dealings with them. They would gladly 
have stood aloof from the Roman wars. But their old ally, 
the King of Egypt, was too weak to support them ; and the 
brutal conduct of the King of Macedonia forced them into 
alliance with Rome. 

§ 7. It remains to take a view of Macedon itself. 

A very short time after Demetrius the Besieger fled from the 
field of Ipsus, discrowned and helpless, we are surprised to find 
him in possession of the sceptre of Macedon and lord of Greece. 
After reigning at Pella for seven years, he was expelled from his 
new kingdom by a second coalition, headed by Lysimachus, the 
veteran King of Thrace, and Pyrrhus, the young King of Epirus. 
He made one more desperate attempt to recover his Asiatic domi- 
nions, when he fell into the hands of Seleucus, and died in captivity 
in the year 283 B.C. Soon after, died Ptolemy and Lysimachus. 
Seleucus, the only survivor of Alexanders generals, w r ould have 
won Macedon also, but in the moment of conquest he fell by 
the knife of an assassin. This assassin was Ptolemy Ceraunus, 
eldest son of the deceased King of Egypt. For a brief period, 
this savage became King, and lent aid to Pyrrhus in his Italian 
campaigns. But Ceraunus did not long enjoy his ill-gotten spoil. 

* Dr. Smith's Greece, p. 562. 


He lost his life in endeavouring to stay the course of the Gauls 
who burnt Delphi. 

A period of confusion followed. The Gauls, expelled from 
Europe, settled in Asia Minor ; and when Pyrrhus returned 
from Italy in 275 B.C., he found that the sceptre of Macedon had 
fallen into the hands of Antigonus Gonatas, son of Demetrius, 
who transmitted the sceptre of Macedon to his son Demetrius 
II. When this prince died, he left his son Philip, a child of 
eight years old, to the charge of his cousin Antigonus Doson,* 
who took possession of the throne for himself, but in other 
respects acted with honour and good faith towards his young 
charge. He gave him a good education ; and at his death, in 
220 B.C., he took care that Philip should be proclaimed King to 
the exclusion of his own children. Such an example of good 
faith deserves notice in this age of selfishness and corruption. 

When Philip succeeded to the throne, he found the kingdom 
in a flourishing state. No foreign enemy threatened his shores ; 
and unhappy Greece, torn by discord, was ready to welcome him 
as a protector. 

§ 8. The mere mention of the name of Greece excites some 
interest in the mind of the most indifferent reader ; and when 
Greece is mentioned, the first name that memory recalls is that 
of Athens. But there was little left of that glorious spirit which 
euabled Athens to throw back the Persian invader from her 
shores. After the last struggle for independence, when the name 
of Demosthenes sheds a dying glory over Athens, the people 
surrendered itself quietly to the protection of the Kings of 
Macedon. Art, indeed, and literature still remained in their 
old abode. Even now the silken chains were being woven, which, 
at a later time, were to bind her Roman conquerors. Zeno the 
Stoic and Epicurus were establishing the rival doctrines which 
afterwards divided the Roman mind between them, Menander 
and Philemon and Diphilus were bringing on the stage those 
dramas of the New Comedy, which not long after delighted the 
Romans in the imperfect versions of Plautus and Terence. Yet, 
for all this, Athens, the star of Greece, had lost her brightness. 
An Athenian and a sycophant became convertible terms. 

§ 9. In Sparta, the old Dorian nobility had dwindled away to 
a few families, who engrossed the land, and exercised tyrannical 
rule over the people. In the year 241 B.C., Agis IV., one of the 
Kings, a young man of noble spirit, endeavoured to bring about 
a reform of the State, by abolishing all debts, and admitting to the 
Spartan franchise a number of the Lacedaemonians, among whom 

* Aaktojv, intending to give ; for he did not give up the throne to Philip till 
his death. 


al] lands were to be divided anew according to the system of 
Lycurgus. But the old burgesses, led by the Ephors and the 
other King, opposed him vehemently; and Agis was put to 
death. Then followed a re-action. Cleomenes HI., son of the 
King who had opposed Agis, succeeded to the crown and re- 
sumed the projects of that unhappy prince. But he showed 
more prudence in the execution of them ; and for a time some 
appearance of vigour was restored to the enfeebled frame of the 
Spartan constitution. 

§ 10. But at that period chief notice belongs to a people who 
had hitherto played a very subordinate part in the history of 
Greece, the people of Ach^a. From the time when the "long- 
haired Achaeans " fought against Troy, their name had almost 
vanished from the pages of history. All we know of them is, 
that they were a relic of that ancient people who formerly 
possessed Peloponnesus, and were driven by the conquering 
Dorians to a narrow strip of land on the sea-coast. It was in the 
year 280 B.C., when the irruption of the Gauls filled all hearts 
with fear, that four towns of this obscure district united for 
mutual defence. Such was the beginning of that Confederation, 
which became famous under the name of the Achaean League. 

Yet it was not to themselves, but to a foreigner, that this 
fame was due. Aratus was born at Sicyon about the time when 
Pyrrhus came to his ignoble end. Scarcely had he reached the 
age of twenty, when he formed the plan of delivering his native 
city from the Tyrant who oppressed her. Success justified his 
audacity ; and Sicyon, by the advice of Aratus, joined the 
Achaean League (251 B.C.). Not many years after, he was 
elected General-in- chief, and formed the design of uniting all 
Peloponnesus under the League. He set Corinth free from her 
Macedonian garrison, and this important city joined the Fede- 
ration. Her example was followed by Megalopolis and by Argos ; 
and by the year 227 B.C. the Achaean League had become the 
chief power of Peloponnesus. But Sparta still stood aloof; and 
Cleomenes had no mind to let his country become a province of 
the League. Aratus endeavoured to compel him. But he was 
an unskilful general, and Cleomenes possessed great talents for 
war. It soon appeared that Sparta was more likely to become 
master of. the Achaeans, than the Achaeans of Sparta. In this 
state of things, Aratus scrupled not to undo the work which he 
had spent his best years in executing. He called in the aid of 
Antigonus Doson, or, in other words, he made the Achaean League 
subject to Macedon. The army of Antigonus, united to the 
forces of the League, was too touch for Cleomenes. He was 
utterly defeated at the battle of Sellasia (221 B.C.), and died an 


exile in Egypt. Sparta fell into the hands of bloody Tyrants ; 
and Aratus henceforth appears as Lieutenant of the King of 

§ 11. There was yet another warlike State always ready to take 
advantage of the weakness of its neighbours. 

In the best times of Greece the ^Etolians make little more 
figure than the Achseans. From the time when "yellow- 
haired Meleager " slew the boar of Calydon, we hear little of 
them. Dwelling in a mountainous district, they were a nation 
of freebooters, a sort of land-pirates, caring for nothing but 
plunder. They owned no king ; but before this time their 
several tribes had formed a sort of League ; and deputies met 
every year at Thermon, their chief city, to elect a Captain- 
General (or partly os). They had thriven on the weakness of their 
neighbours. Ambracia, the capital of Pyrrhus, was theirs ; so 
was Naupactus, once the chief station of the Athenian navy in 
the Gulf of Corinth. Thermon rose to be a splendid city, and 
here the iEtolian chiefs lived in great magnificence. But they 
continued their marauding habits on a larger scale and in a 
more regular manner. It was chiefly by their selfish policy that 
the Eomans were enabled to become masters of Greece. 

§ 12. The iEtolian chiefs thought that the death of Antigonus 
Doson presented a good opportunity for a foray into Pelopon- 
nesus. The time was well chosen. Philip was too young, they 
thought, to act with promptitude ; Aratus was too unskilful a 
general to alarm them. For one year the marauders ravaged 
Arcadia and Argolis at will. But when they repeated their 
inroad in the following season, Philip came to aid the League, 
and the tide of war turned against the iEtolians. 

The young King of Maeedon showed great vigour. Not only 
did he expel the invaders from Peloponnesus, but broke into 
their own country and surprised Thermon, where all the trea- 
sures of the nation were deposited. Here he made the fierce 
chiefs his enemies for ever ; for he carried off their treasure, 
destroyed their houses, and burnt down their temples. At this 
moment, Philip's attention was attracted by events which made 
his successes in iEtolia look pale and trifling. These events 
were Hannibal's first victories in Italy. 

§ 13. It was in the winter of 217 B.C., when the Achseans and 
their allies were assembled at Argos under Philip's presidency, 
that their deliberations were suspended by the tidings of the 
battle of Trasimene. The young King's mind was fired with 
eager desire to take part in this more splendid drama. He made 
peace with the iEtolians on terms very favourable to the Achseans ; 
and thus ended what was called the last Social War. 


Nothing could be more imprudent than Philip's desire to take 
part in Western politics. His position at home was most ad- 
vantageous. His army was well disciplined, his fleet consider- 
able ; his finances in good order. The King of Egypt was too 
feeble to thwart him ; the King of Syria and the Republic of 
Rhodes were willing to be his allies ; the Greek states of Asia 
and Europe were ready to own him as protector ; the malcontent 
iEtolians had just felt his power. With prudence he might have 
formed an Eastern confederation, which would have offered a 
formidable front to Rome. 

But his imagination was inflamed by Hannibal's glory; in 
sleep his dreams transported him to Italy ; and when the news 
of the great victory of Cannae followed that of Trasimene, he de- 
termined no longer to stand aloof. It must be added, that his 
natural ambition was urged on by a person whom he had just 
admitted into his councils. This was Demetrius of Pharos, who 
by treachery had lost the lllyrian Principality given him by 
Rome. He took refuge with Philip, and in the autumn which 
followed the battle of Trasimene, the Senate had sent to demand 
the surrender of his person. But at that moment, to be an 
enemy to Rome was to be the friend of Philip ; and Demetrius 
became the King's chief adviser. His acquaintance with Roman 
politics recommended him ; his unscrupulous advice suited the 
temper of Philip better than the cautious policy of Aratus, who 
ceased henceforth to have any weight in the counsels of Philip. 

§ 14. It has been above mentioned that as soon as the news of 
the battle of Cannae arrived, Philip V. King of Macedon sent off 
ambassadors to offer terms of alliance to Hannibal ; that the 
messengers fell into the hands of the Romans, and that conse- 
quently the treaty was not concluded till late in the year 215 B.C. 
In this treaty it was stipulated that Philip should send an army 
to support Hannibal in Italy ; and that, in the event of a suc- 
cessful issue of the war, IUyria should be given to Demetrius, 
while the Roman possessions in Epirus were handed over to 
Philip. The result of this treaty was the First Macedonian War. 

Coin of Philip V.. King of Macedon. 


BY FLAMININUS. (214 — 194 B.C.) 

§ 1. Conduct of Philip. § 2. League formed by Larvinus with iEtolians. 
§3. Activity of Philip: Lsevinus .succeeded by Galba : iEgina taken. 
§ 4. Danger of Philip in the year 208 : his vigilance and successes. 
§ 5. End of the First Macedonian War. § 6. Philip assists Hannibal at 
Zama: Embassy to Home. § 7. His impolitic conduct towards the 
Achseans. His outrages in Asia Minor. § 8. Athens revolts from Philip : 
complaints laid before the Senate. § 9. Difficulty in declaring war against 
Philip. § 10. Conquests of Philip in Thrace. § 11. The Romans burn 
Chalcis: theAchaeans refuse aid to Philip. § 12. Galba enters Macedonia 
by the North-west : his fruitless campaign. § 13. Second Campaign : 
L. Vilhus, Consul, attempts to enter Thessaly. § 14. T. Quinctius Fla- 
mininus supersedes Villius : he forces the pass, of the Aoiis. § 15. His 
operations in Greece: dissensions in the Achaean League. § 16. Conference 
during winter between Philip and Flamininus. § 17. Third Campaign : 
Flarnininus continued in command as Proconsul : Romans dominant in 
Greece. § 18. Battle of Cynoscephalae : complete defeat of Philip. 
§ 19. Terms offered by Flamininus to Philip: Peace. § 20. Declaration 
of independence at Isthmian Games. § 21. Proceedings of Antiochus, 
King of Syria. § 22. Nabis Tyrant of Sparta: siege of Sparta. § 23. 
Policy of Flamininus. § 24. Address of Flamininus to the Greeks at 
Corinth. § 25. His departure, and Triumph. 

§ 1. No doubt Philip's wisest course would have been to abstain 
from mixing himself up with the affairs of Italy ; but, having done 
so, he ought to have engaged heartily in the war. In 212 B.C. Han^- 
nibal became master of Tarentum. Then, if ever, would have been 
the time for the King to have dispatched his Macedonian phalanx 
to support the Carthaginian in Italy. His inactivity is the more 
remarkable, because about the same time he delivered himself 


so entirely to the counsels of Demetrius that he did not hesitate 
to disembarrass himself of the troublesome remonstrances of 
Aratus by poison. Thus was the patriotic founder of the 
Achaean League, so long the faithful servant of the Kings of 
Macedon, requited for his services. 

§ 2. On discovering Philip's negotiations with Hannibal, the 
Senate dispatched M. Valerius Lsevinus, with a small squadron, 
to watch his proceedings. This enterprising officer succeeded 
in checking Philip's feeble efforts ; but he took no forward step 
till the year 211 B.C., when he entered into negotiations with 
the iEtolians, and soon found means to induce their greedy 
chiefs to form a treaty with Rome on terms that reveal their 
selfish policy. They were to join Rome in war upon Philip : all 
cities taken by the confederate forees were to be handed over 
to the iEtolians, but the inhabitants and moveable property 
were to be left to the Romans. 

§ 3. The news of this treaty roused Philip to something of his 
former activity, and he baffled the assault of his enemies on 
every side. La3vinus, however, succeeded in taking the strong 
city of Anticyra in Locris, which was treated in the manner 
prescribed by treaty. 

His successor was P. Sulpicius Galba, who was ordered to send 
home the legion which had hitherto been employed in Greece. 
The Senate were of opinion, that a squadron of ships, supported 
by Attalus at sea and by the iEtolians on land, was sufficient 
to hold Philip in check. Galba, thus hampered, was unable to 
do more than seize the island of iEgina. Here, as at Anticyra, 
the inhabitants were sold as slaves for the benefit of the Romans, 
while the place was left to the iEtolian chiefs, who handed it 
over to Attalus for 30 talents. This monarch had lately joined 
the allies with a squadron of 35 Pergamene ships, and iEgina 
henceforth became his head-quarters. 

The Achaeans, notwithstanding the suspicious death of Aratus, 
preferred maintaining their alliance with Philip to uniting them- 
selves with greedy freebooters like the iEtolians. But the Lace- 
daemonians and Eleans joined the iEtolian League. 

§ 4. In the next year (208 B.c.) Philip with the Achaeans had 
to enter upon a conflict with the Romans and Attalus at sea, 
the iEtolians and Lacedaemonians by land, while the Illyrians 
threatened the northern frontiers of Macedonia, and the Thra- 
cians broke into the eastern districts. 

To meet these multiplied enemies, Philip exerted a vigour and 
activity worthy of his best days. Fixing his head-quarters at 
Demetrias (a strong fortress in the south of Thessaly, erected by 
Demetrius Poliorcetes to command the passage from Macedonia 


into Greece), he sent troops to defend his allies from the 
attacks of the iEtolians. Attalus was happily detached from 
the League by an incursion made by Prusias of Bithynia into 
his kingdom of Pergamus ; and Galba, left alone with a feeble 
squadron, was obliged to retire to iEgina. 

In the two following years fortune declared positively for 
Philip. In the Peloponnesus, Philopcemen, the new general of the 
Achsean League, gained a decided superiority over Lacedoemon. 
The King invaded iEtolia, and again committed Thermon to 
the flames. 

§ 5. The iEtolians, finding themselves left to bear the brunt 
of the war, were glad to conclude a peace on terms favour- 
able to Macedon. Scarcely was the peace concluded, when P. 
Sempronius Tuditanus arrived at Dyrrhachium, and Philip hast- 
ened over the mountains to attack him. But before any 
decisive action, the Epirotes offered their mediation, and a treaty 
of peace was signed between Philip and Rome. (205 B.C.) 

Thus ended what is commonly called the Eirst Macedonian 
War. The object of the Eomans had been simply to prevent 
Philip from assisting Hannibal in Italy, and in this they had 
succeeded at a very small expense to themselves either in men 
or money. 

§ 6. That Philip entertained few thoughts of a lasting peace, is 
shown by the fact that on Hannibal's return to Africa, he sent 
him 4000 men, commanded by Sopater, a nobleman of the 
highest rank at the Macedonian court, to assist in maintaining 
the war against Scipio. These men took part in the battle of 
Zama, and their commander with many of his men became pri- 
soners. Philip had the impudence to send envoys to Rome, 
to demand their liberation. His envoys were dismissed with 
the stern answer, that " if Philip wished for war, he should 
have it." 

§ 7. Meantime the King of Macedon had been displaying a 
most unfortunate activity in the East and in Greece. 

On the death of Ptolemy Philopator in the very year of the 
Peace of Dyrrhachium, Philip made a bargain with Antiochus 
King of Syria to divide the dominions that had devolved on the 
boy-king of Egypt Ptolemy Epiphanes. This was the unprin- 
cipled Treaty of Partition which drove the ministers of young 
Ptolemy to place him under the guardianship of Rome. 

In Greece the tyrannical disposition, which Philip had dis- 
closed ever since Demetrius of Pharos became his chief counsel- 
lor, exhibited itself more and more. This man was killed in battle 
soon after the Peace of Dyrrhachium, and was succeeded in the 
king's confidence by still more unscrupulous knaves, Heraclides, 


a Tarentine pirate, and Dicoearchus, an iEtolian exile. At their 
instigation Philip now attempted to take off Philopcemen as he 
had taken off Aratus, but without success ; and the Acheean 
patriots, though they dreaded the iEtolian marauders, yet would 
not brook the oppressive tyranny of Philip. It was as yet 
uncertain what part they would take in the war. 

In Asia Minor his conduct was so outrageous, that the Rhodian 
fleet combined with that of Attalus, took the sea, and blockaded 
him in Caria so closely, that it was not till the spring of 201 B.C. 
that he effected his escape into Europe. 

§ 8. The Rhodians and Attalus now passed over to Greece, 
and promised the Athenians support if they would throw off the 
Macedonian yoke. Philip dispatched an army to overawe 
xlthens, while in person he laid siege to Abydos. 

But, meantime, the injured powers had sent to complain at 
Rome ; and three Roman envoys, who were then just starting to 
assume the guardianship of the young King of Egypt, were 
ordered to visit Philip on their way, and remonstrate on his pro- 
ceedings. They were all men of note, — Claudius Nero the con- 
queror of Hasdrubal, P. Sempronius Tuditanus the author of 
the Peace of Dyrrhachium, and M. iEmilius Lepidus a young 
Senator of high and generous spirit, who afterwards rose to be 
the first man at Rome. LseVinus was dispatched anew to Greece 
with the fleet that had during the Punic War been employed on 
the coast of Sicily. But no proposal to declare war was made 
till the next year. (200 B.C.). 

§ 9. On the Ides of March, the day on which at that period 
the Consuls entered upon office, these magistrates summoned 
the Senate. Dispatches had just arrived from Lsevinus, detail- 
ing in full the late conduct of Philip, and urging the necessity of 
an immediate declaration of war. The three envoys had found 
Philip at Abydos, and iEmilius had remonstrated in plain and 
open language. "You speak thus," replied the King, "because 
you are a young man, a handsome man, and — a Roman. If," he 
added, " you wish for war, I am ready." The Consul, P. Sulpicius 
Galba, who had before succeeded Laevinus, was again appointed 
to conduct the Macedonian war, and prepared to bring in a bill 
for the purpose before the Assembly of the Centuries. 

Great pains had been taken to prepare the minds of the People 
for ready acquiescence. At the conclusion of the Hannibalic 
War, the victories of Rome had been celebrated with games of 
extraordinary pomp by the iEdiles, one of whom was T. Quinctius 
Flamininus, the future conqueror of Philip. The poorer class 
of citizens had been invited to purchase at a low rate the large 
supplies of grain sent over by Scipio from Africa.. Portions of 


the Public Land in Apulia and Samnium were distributed to the 
veterans of Scipio. 

There was, however, a general disinclination to make the sacri- 
fices required by a new war. The citizens of Rome, as well as 
the Latins and Italians, were all liable to be drawn for service, 
unless they were past the military age, or had already served 
their time. Every family had for years seen its best and 
strongest males withdrawn from rustic labour to bear arms 
against Carthage ; all were anxious to avoid any return of the 
miseries which they had endured during Hannibal's occupation 
of Italy. The declaration of war was rejected by the vote of 
almost every Century. 

But the Senate was not to be thus discouraged. The Consul 
was ordered to summon the Centuries to a second vote. 
Before the question was put, he addressed them in a set speech, 
in which he argued J;hat the point for decision was, not whether 
they would go to war with Philip or not, but whether they 
would have that war in Italy or across the sea. The yeomen 
of the Tribes, terrified at the thoughts of a new invasion, believed 
his arguments, and reversed their vote. 

In consequence of these delays, Gaiba was not able to reach 
Apollonia till near the end of the season ; but he at once 
dispatched C. Claudius Centho to relieve Athens. 

§ 10. Meantime Philip had been pursuing a very successful 
career in Thrace. Abydos alone held out with heroic bravery : 
rather than yield to Philip, they said they would destroy every 
living soul within the city. " Well," remarked the King, with 
the reckless wit for which he was famous, " we will suspend the 
siege, and give them three days to kill themselves in." At 
last it fell ; and Philip heard that the Romans were in Epirus 
and at Athens. 

§ 11. At once he crossed over to Demetrias. While he lay 
here, Claudius made an inroad into Euboea, and surprised the 
strong city of Chalcis. Philip crossed the Euripus ; but, too 
late to save the place from plunder, he resolved to take ven- 
geance upon Athens. Claudius was not strong enough to meet 
him in the field, and Philip wreaked his barbarous rage on the 
sacred groves and buildings round the city, which his generals 
had hitherto spared. The Acheeans were exasperated by this 
conduct, and were still less inclined to take part with the reckless 

§ 12. Early in the next year (199 B.C.) Galba moved. Under 
the guidance of Pleuratus. a young Illyrian chief, he advanced 
through the rugged and woody districts to the west of the Axius 
(Vardar), then called Eordsea and Elymiotis, but avoided a 


descent into tho level plain ; and Philip, not choosing to risk a 
battle on ground unfavourable to the action of the phalanx, 
contented himself with watching the enemy. Galba at length 
returned to Apollonia by the valley of the Apsus. He had effected 
nothing, and his army suffered greatly in its bootless campaign. 
When he first landed at Corcyra, he wrote word to the Senate 
that a laurel with which his ship's stem was decked had 
budded — a sure omen of victory ; but no laurel wreath adorned 
the Consul's brow. 

§ 13. Galba's campaign took place after his successor P. Villius 
Tappulus had entered upon office ; but the latter did not arrive 
at Corcyra till late in the season, and during the winter he was 
occupied with quelling a mutiny. In the spring of 198 B.C. he 
took the field, but did not attempt the northern passes as Galba 
had done. He had the merit of perceiving that Philip was most 
vulnerable in Thessaly ; that the army, supported by the fleet, 
might by its presence in that country deprive Philip of all in- 
fluence in Greece. With the aim of penetrating into Thessaly, 
therefore, he marched up the valley of the Aoiis ; and in a narrow 
defile of this valley he found Philip strongly posted. While 
he was considering his next move, he received news that T. 
Quinctius Flamininus, the Consul of the year, had arrived at 
Corcyra to take the command. 

§ 14. Flamininus is as much the hero of the Macedonian war 
as is Scipio of the war with Hannibal. He also was a Patrician, 
and was elected to the Consulship at the age of thirty. Unlike 
Galba and Villius, he left Rome soon after the Ides of March, 
instead of allowing himself to be detained at Rome till it was 
time to go into winter-quarters. His brother Lucius accom- 
panied him to take the command of the fleet. 

The position occupied by Philip was at a point where the valley 
closes in to a narrow gorge, which the Macedonians had occupied 
so skilfully that Flamininus hesitated to attempt a direct 
attack.* Both armies lay confronting each other for about six 
weeks, w T hen an attempt was made to settle matters by negotia- 
tion. But Flamininus demanded that " the King should with- 
draw his garrisons from all Hellenic cities, make restitution for 
injuries past, and leave them independent for the future," and 
Philip broke off the conference, exclaiming that " no harder 
terms could be asked if he were beaten." It is probable that 
the Romans might have been altogether foiled, had not an 
Epirote chief named Charops betrayed a path by which the 
enemy's position might be turned. The Macedonians beat off 

* The place seems to have been a little below Klissoura, where a ridge 
strikes across the gorge, and leaves a very narrow passage for the stream. 


the Soman assaults gallantly till they found themselves attacked 
in rear. Then they fled precipitately up the pass, past the 
present town of Metzovo ; and Philip, after throwing garrisons 
into the strongest fortresses of Thessaly, withdrew to Pella. 

§ 15. Flamininus attempted not to pursue him, but remained 
in Epirus, where he secured the goodwill of the people by his 
mild treatment. From Epirus he marched through Thessaly, 
and passed southward into Locris, where the seaport of Anticyra 
served as a basis of operations. He then laid siege to Elateia, a 
strong fortress which commanded the chief pass leading from 
Bceotia northwards. 

Meanwhile the Roman fleet, under the command of the 
general's brother, anchored at Cenchreae, the eastern haven of 
Corinth. The purpose of L. Flamininus was to influence the 
General Assembly of the Achaean League, which had met at 
iEgiuni. The question for decision was whether they were to 
take part in the war, and if so, what part. Opinion had gra- 
dually been becoming more positive in favour of the Romans, 
and the leader of the Macedonian party had been banished ; 
yet there was a third party, headed by Philopcemen, which 
desired neutrality. Great was the perplexity of the Assembly. 
If they declared in favour of the Romans, they would find 
themselves leagued with the barbarous yEtolians ; if they re- 
mained neutral, they might find themselves left in a perilous 
state of isolation. It is probable that the neutral party would 
have carried the day, had not Philopoemen been absent. After 
hearing the envoys of both powers, they sat a whole day silent 
or murmuring. Next day a tumultuous debate followed ; on 
the third day the majority voted for alliance with Rome, but 
the representatives of some States withdrew under protest ; 
Argos admitted a Macedonian garrison ; and Megalopolis stood 
aloof. The League was in fact broken up ; but the vote of the 
Assembly enabled Flamininus to declare himself Protector of the 
liberties of Greece. 

§ 16. During the winter, both powers were active in negotia- 
tion. Philip was alarmed at the success of Flamininus. Fla- 
mininus was fearful of being superseded in the command. 

Both parties therefore agreed to a conference, which was held 
near the Pass of Thermopylae. The King approached the ap- 
pointed place in his state galley, attended by the banished 
Achaean leader, and two Macedonian officers. Flamininus stood 
upon the shore surrounded by his allies, Amynander Prince of 
the Athamanians, the envoy of Attalus, the Rhodian admiral, 
the chiefs of the Achaean League, and Phceneas the one-eyed 
captain of the iEtolians. The Roman began by demanding that 


" Philip should restore freedom to the cities of Greece, and 
make restitution for injuries." He was followed by his several 
allies, who urged their own claims, not without vehemence 
Philip kept his patience till the iEtolian chief broke in by 
saying, that " this was no question of words : the long and short 
of it was that Philip must conquer or obey/' " Ay," retorted 
the King in his sarcastic vein, " one may see that with half an 
eye." So closed the first day's conference. Next day Flamininus 
persuaded the allies to allow him to conduct the negotiations 
alone. On the third day proceedings closed with a proposal that 
both parties should send envoys to the Senate at Home. 

When Philip's envoy began a set speech before the Senate 
he was cut short by the question, u Whether the King was pre- 
pared to withdraw the garrisons from the three fortresses which 
(in his biting way) he used to call the Fetters of Greece — De- 
metrias, Chalcis, and Corinth?" The envoy had received no 
instructions on this point, and was ordered to leave Rome. 

§ 17. Both parties therefore prepared for a decisive conflict. 
Flamininus was continued in the command as Proconsul. All 
Greece between Thessaly and the Isthmus was with him, except 
Acarnania and Bceotia. Acarnania might safely be neglected, 
but it was of high importance to secure Bceotia. An assembly 
was held at Thebes to discuss the propriety of submission, at 
which Attalus, now an old man, spoke with so much warmth 
that he fell down in a fit, and died not long after. During the 
debate the Consul introduced a body of soldiers into Thebes, and 
the Assembly voted for alliance with Rome. Still more mortify- 
ing to Philip was it to see Nabis, Tyrant of Lacedaemon, follow 
the general current. He had stooped to court the favour of 
this monster, and as an earnest of goodwill put Argos into his 
hands, Nabis took the bribe, and then concluded an alliance 
with Flamininus. 

§ 18. In 197 B.C., therefore, Flamininus advanced from Elateia to 
Thermopylae with all Greece at his back. Here he paused till he 
was joined by a division of iEtolian cavalry. Philip had already 
passed through the Vale of Temp6 into Thessaly. Constant wars 
had so drained the population of Macedonia that the levies in- 
cluded veterans past the time of service, and boys of the tender 
age of sixteen. The phalanx, as usual, consisted of two divisions, 
each 8000 strong ; and to this were added about 7000 light troops 
and 2000 horse. The Romans had about the same number of 
foot, but the iEtolian cavalry gave them a great advantage in this 
arm. After some manoeuvring, Philip fell back upon Scotussa, 
where plains of waving corn, then just ripe, supplied forage. 
Flamininus followed ; and the two armies encamped, unknowingly, 


on opposite sides of the same low range of hills, which from their 
appearance were called Gynoscephalse, or the Dogheads. The 
next day was stormy, and the air so darkened by mist and rain 
that the men could only see a few yards before them. Philip, 
however, detached a body of light troops to occupy the ridge : 
and at the same time a Roman reconnoitring party ascended the 
opposite slope. The Romans, being the weaker, were driven 
down the hill towards their camp, where they were supported 
by fresh troops, and the Macedonians were obliged to retire to 
the summit of the ridge. The mist now cleared off. The Mace- 
donians, reinforced in their turn, again forced the Romans down 
the slope, and would have cut them to pieces had not the 
iEtolian cavalry held them in check. Flamininus now drew out 
the Legions, and advanced with his whole line of battle ; while 
the Macedonian officers sent off message after message to the 
King, exaggerating their success, and urging him to bring up the 
Phalanxes and secure the victory. Philip was a good general, 
and had no mind to entangle his columns in uneven ground, but 
he suffered himself to be persuaded against his better judgment. 
The King himself led one Phalanx on the right, while Nicanor 
was to follow with the other on the left. 

On ordinary occasions the Phalanx was drawn up sixteen men 
in file ; but on this day Philip threw his division into a much 
deeper column. Its weight was thus much increased ; and as 
it bore down upon the Roman left with levelled lances, ten 
points against each soldier, its charge was irresistible. The 
Legions gave way before it. But while this was taking place on 
the Roman left, Flamininus upon the right observed Nicanor's 
Phalanx still upon the brow of the hill, broken by the rough 
ground. He immediately sent up his elephants, and following 
with his Legionaries charged before the enemy had found time 
to form. The left Phalanx, attacked in this helpless condition, 
was driven over the hill in utter confusion. Philip saw that all 
was lost, and left the field. Not fewer than 8000 Macedonians were 
killed ; 7000 were taken prisoners. The army was annihilated. 

§ 19. When the Romans reached the Macedonian camp, they 
found that their light-fingered allies the iEtolians had already 
plundered it. If this disgusted the soldiery, Flamininus himself 
was provoked by the arrogance with which their chiefs claimed 
the chief share in the victory of Cynoscephalse. Their cavalry 
had doubtless done good service ; but it was too much for Roman 
pride to hear an epigram recited, in which it was said that 
'*' Philip had been conquered by the iEtolians and the Latins." * 

* AlraXcZv $/u,7}0{vr&$ u7r"A£io$ «Ss Aotr/va/v. The epigram was written bj 
Alcams of Messene'. See Plutarch, Vit. Flamin. c. 9. 


The iiitolians had now ceased to be useful to the Romans, and 
from this time forth we find little harmony between them. 
Flamininus held a conference with Philip at Temp6 ; and the 
iEtolians were furious to find that the politic Roman offered Philip 
the old conditions of peace, whereas they wished for nothing less 
than to deprive him of his crown. Philip gladly accepted the 
offer of the General : he paid down 200 talents caution-money, 
and gave up his son Demetrius and other hostages, who were 
to be restored in case the Senate refused their assent to the 
treaty. But Flamininus was at this time completely trusted ; 
and ten Commissioners were sent with a Decree of the Senate, 
which prescribed the basis on which the settlement of Greece 
was to be made. All the engagements of the Proconsul were 
sanctioned ; but Philip was required to pay 1000 talents, half at 
once and half in annual instalments for ten years. 

On the arrival of the Commissioners, rumours became rife of 
the intentions of the Senate. The iEtolians eagerly caught up 
these rumours, and endeavoured to raise the indignation of the 
Greeks. "The freedom promised was," they said, "an illusion. 
Greece would only find a change of masters. Macedonian garri- 
sons will be replaced by Roman. The Fetters of Greece would 
only be clasped tighter by a stronger hand." Flamininus exerted 
himself to weaken the effect of these representations ; and the 
Greeks waited anxiously, but quietly, for the promulgation of 
the Decree. 

§ 20. The Commissioners repaired to Corinth, and it was 
generally known that their resolutions would be publicly 
announced at the approaching Isthmian Games. That city of 
old renown was thronged by the assembled Greeks, who 
came not so much to witness the national festival, as to learn 
their country's fate from the lips of the conqueror. The day 
arrived. Flamininus took his seat in the Amphitheatre. Amid 
the expectation of all men, a trumpet sounded, and a crier 
advanced into the arena, who proclaimed that, the Roman Se- 

Philip and the Macedonians, declared all the Greeks who 
had been subject to the klng free and independent. the 
glad news was more than men could believe ; they gazed incre- 
dulously on each other ; they asked their neighbours whether 
they had heard aright. Then a general cry arose that the pro- 
clamation should be repeated. And now, when doubt gave way 
to certainty, a deafening shout of joy burst from the assembled 
multitude. Men's minds were too much absorbed with serious 
topics to be interested by shows ; the games were hurried over. 
When the Roman General rose to leave the Amphitheatre, the 


crowd pressed so closely round him, eager to touch his hancl 
and wreathe his head with garlands, that he was well nigh 
smothered under their tumultuous greeting. 

This memorable event tock place in the summer of 196 B.C.. 
about a year after the battle of Cynoscephalae. 

§ 21. Flamininus remained nearly two years in Greece after 
the day of the Proclamation. Already the seeds of a new war 
were sown. Envoys had arrived from Antiochus, King of Syria, 
a rash and selfish monarch, who had some reason for alarm. We 
have related how he had proposed to divide with Philip the 
possessions of the King of Egypt. But no sooner was Philip 
engaged in war with Rome, than Antiochus seized the oppor- 
tunity to occupy Asia Minor, and he was now preparing to cross 
the Hellespont. 

Hitherto, Flamininus had abstained from every step which 
could irritate a new enemy ; but now he cared not any longer 
to humour the King of Syria. He dismissed "the Envoys with 
peremptory orders for Antiochus "to restore the Greek cities 
in Asia to independence, and on no account to set foot in 
Europe." At the same time he promised that Commissioners 
should be sent to acquaint him more explicitly with the pleasure 
of the Senate. 

§ 22. Some things in Greece required the immediate attention 
of the General. It was necessary to secure the peace and safety 
of Peloponnesus by putting down Nabis, Tyrant of Lacedaemon. 
No peaceful community could subsist by the side of this 
barbarian. How he gained his power we know not. He con- 
firmed himself in it by a caricature of the reforms of Cleomenes, 
and distributed the lands among a number of enfranchised 
Helots. The rich and respectable citizens he banished or ex- 
ecuted ; those whp were suspected of wealth were put to the 
torture. His favourite engine for this purpose was a wooden 
figure representing his wife Apega, which clasped the unhappy 
recusant to breasts furnished with sharp spikes in place of 
nipples. He maintained a considerable fleet and army, which 
were employed in piracy and plunder. 

The Roman general had no pretext for w T ar against him. He 
had admitted him into alliance just before the battle of Cynosce- 
phalae, and Nabis had not broken the terms. Flamininus, there- 
fore, resolved to act merely as the agent of the Achseans, who 
had abundant grounds for complaint against the. Tyrant. He 
led the allies against Sparta, which, though formerly unwalled, 
was now strongly fortified ; and the desperadoes who formed its 
garrison defended their last hope bravely. But the Tyrant must 
have yielded at discretion, had not Flamininus, whose departure 

some. g 


from Greece was now fast approaching, granted him fair terms 
The Achseans murmured, but in vain. Nabis was deprived of 
the southern portion of Laconia, which was declared free ;* and 
was required to give up his fleet and disband his army. 

§ 23. Flamininus employed the few months that remained 
before his departure in making a tour of Greece, and settling 
the government in Thessaly and other newly-emancipated places. 
Everywhere he gave preponderance to the aristocratical or 
Roman party, and attempted to create such a balance of power, 
that each State should be afraid of going to war. He spared 
Philip in the North to check the power of the iEtolians, and 
left Nabis in the South to be a thorn in the side of the Achseaus. 
He intended that no state in Greece should be strong enough 
to prevail over the rest, but that all should maintain a species 
of independence under the protection of Rome, which was to 
occupy the place filled by Macedon since the battle of Sellasia. 

§ 24. The spring of the year 194 B.C. now came on, and 
Flamininus prepared for departure. He assembled his Grecian 
alhes at Corinth, and addressed them in a parting speech. He 
declared he had been actuated in all his measures by a sincere 
desire of promoting their good ; he had spared Nabis only because 
he could not put him down without destroying the ancient city of 
Sparta ; " his last act," he said, " should prove whether the word 
of Romans or of iEtolians were more trustworthy. He would 
show that the freedom of Greece was to be no illusion. He 
would withdraw the Roman garrisons from all the cities, even 
from those famous strongholds which were called the Fetters of 
Greece. Corinth, Chalcis, and Demetrias should be pledges of 
his sincerity. And now," he added, " now that you have perfect 
liberty, show that you understand its value by maintaining peace 
and goodwill among yourselves. Let the Roman People know 
that you are worthy of the gift they have bestowed." 

These words so touched the hearers, that with tlie excitable 
temper of a Southern people they burst into tears ; and the 
General himself was so affected, that he was for a time unable 
to go on. After a pause, he asked as a personal favour, that all 
Roman citizens who were in slavery among them should be set 
free, and allowed to attend his triumph. The request was granted 
by acclamation ; and the Achaeans alone redeemed 1200 Roman 
slaves at the expense of the State. 

§ 24. Two months after this memorable scene, Flamininus set 
sail from Oricum, after an absence of nearly five years, during 
three of which he had been almost the absolute Sovereign of 

* Hence th s district was named The Eleuthero-Lacones. 



Greece. He landed at Brundusium with his army, and marched 
in a sort of festal procession along the Appian Way to Rome. 
The Senate met him outside the walls, and granted the Triumph 
he had justly earned. The Triumph lasted three days. The 
first two were taken up with processions of cars, carrying the 
spoils taken from Philip and Nabis. On the third day, the 
General himself ascended to the Capitol, preceded by his pri- 
soners and hostages, among whom were two King's sons, Deme- 
trius son of Philip, and Armenes son of Nabis. After him came 
his soldiers, all enriched by the war ; and, lastly, the liberated 
slaves, forming the most glorious part of the whole. Not Scipio 
himself had enjoyed a more splendid triumph. The character 
of Flamininus, indeed, could not challenge comparison with the 
heroic proportions of Scipio : yet there was no other Roman who 
could be compared with Flamininus.* 

O^'vi ot the Qumctian Gens, bearing the head of Flamininus; 

Coin of Antiochus the Great 



(192—188 B.C.) • 

§ 1. Antiochus ordered to quit Europe. § 2, His court at Ephesus visited 
by Hannibal : how this happened. § 3. Hannibal's plan. § 4. Intrigues 
of iEtolians in Greece : death of Nabis : Sparta joins Achaean League. 
§ 5. Flamininus dispatched to Greece : Thoas the iEtolian persuades An- 
tiochus to cross over into Greece. § 6. Antiochus lands at Demetrias : 
welcomed by the northern Greeks. § 7. Opinion of Hannibal : frivolity of 
Antiochus. § 8. Next spring, Antiochus advances into Acarnania : retreats 
to Thermopylae. § 9. The pass of Thermopylae forced by the Consul Gla- 
brio : Cato. § 10. Advice of Flamininus to Glabrio, not to crush iEtolians. 
§11. Flamininus puts all Peloponnesus under the Achaean League: his 
warning. § 12. Next year, L. Scipio, with his brother Publius as Legate, 
takes the command against Antiochus. § 13. Operations by sea : Battle of 
Myonnesus. §14. Great army of Antiochus. §15. Battle of Magnesia : 
utter defeat of the Syriaus. § 16. Terms of peace dictated by Scipio. 
§ 17. Effects at Rome of the Syrian triumph, § 18. M. Fulvius Nobilior 
reduces iEtolians : Flamininus again interferes. § 19. Cn. Manlius Vulso 
makes war, without authority, upon the Galatians. § 20. Distribution of 
the Asiatic possessions of Antiochus. § 21. Fruits of the Galatian War. 

§ I. Notwithstanding the warning of Flamininus, Antiochus 
crossed the Hellespont (192 B.C.). Abydos yielded to him. Ly- 
simacheia, destroyed by Philip, he ordered to be rebuilt ; and 
here he was found by the Commissioners of the Senate. They 
told him not to imagine that the Romans had spared Philip 
for him to conquer, and required him to quit Europe at once 
and to give up all the cities of Asia Minor which he had t-aken. 
An angry argument followed, which was broken off by a false 
report of the death of young Ptolemy. The Syrian King returned 
in haste to Asia, that he might be ready for all contingencies. 

Chap. XXXV. SYRIAN WAR. 341 

§ 2. At this crisis the court of Antiochus was visited by a 
man whose counsels, had they been followed, might have changed 
the history of the world. 

After the conclusion of peace with Eome, Hannibal applied 
all his energies to the reform of the State. His first step 
was to put down the selfish oligarchy which had crippled 
his enterprises in Italy. He had carried safe from the field 
of Zama the greater part of his veterans, and their swords made 
him master of the State. He found that the finances had been 
shamefully maladministered by the Council of One Hundred. 
He at once ordained that this Council should be re-elected, 
wholly or in part, every year, not by themselves, but by the 
people. He published a statement, by which it appeared that 
the present revenue, properly administered, would amply suffice 
to defray all the expenses of the Government, as well as to pay 
the tribute due to Eome. The old oligarchy could not brook to 
lose the gains of office without a struggle. They sent messages 
to the Senate accusing Hannibal of forming secret treaties with 
Antiochus and others. As soon as the Macedonian War w T as 
ended, the Senate sent commissioners to inquire into the truth 
of the accusations. Hannibal felt that he was already condemned 
by these prejudiced judges, and fled from Africa. He reached 
Tyre in safety, and thence repaired to the court of Antiochus at 
Ephesus. Here he exerted all his abilities to widen the breach 
between Rome and the Syrian monarch. 

§ 3. Antiochus had made up his mind to war, and Hanniba 1 
was welcomed and consulted. His plan of operations was this. 
He asked for 10,000 men and 100 ships of war, with transports. 
With these he would sail to Carthage and make her declare 
war against Rome. He would then invade Italy, while Anti- 
ochus, with an overpowering force, should cross over into Greece 
and raise all the country against Rome. 

§ 4. The time was favourable. The Romans were engaged in 
desperate conflicts with the Spaniards, as well as with the Ligu- 
rians and the Gauls of Northern Italy ;* and the presence of 
Hannibal might have revived a contest as fierce as in the Great 
Punic War. In Greece the discontent of the iEtolians had laid 
a train of fresh troubles. No sooner had Flamininus turned his 
back than they began their intrigues, and determined to set 
Greece in a flame. At the suggestion of Thoas, their Chief, 
envoys were sent to Antiochus, Philip, and Nabis, urging these 
monarchs to war. Philip at once refused ; he had suffered too 
much ; he detested the iEtolians, and was little satisfied with 

* See the next Chapter. 


the selfish conduct of Antiochus. Nabis wanted little incite- 
ment : he flew to arms, assassinated all* the Roman partisans in 
Lacedaemon, and sent marauding parties into the territory of the 
Achaean League ; but he was soon compelled by Philopoemen to 
retire behind the walls of Sparta. Antiochus sent back Thoas 
with promises, and the iEtolians resolved at once to commence 
their movements. On a given day they attempted to gain 
possession of Chalcis, Demetrias, and Sparta. At Chalcis they 
failed. Demetrias was betrayed by its inhabitants. Their per- 
fidious attempt on Sparta was defeated ; Nabis himself was 
killed • the most respectable citizens hastily sent for Philo- 
poemen, and declared Sparta a member of the Achaean League. 

§ 5. These things took place in the summer of 192 B.C. On 
hearing of the first disturbances, the Senate had dispatched 
Flamininus to Greece at the head of a Commission. Flami- 
ninus remained there, while he sent on the other Commissioners 
to warn Antiochus against taking part with the iEtolians. But 
Thoas had just returned to Ephesus with news of the capture 
of Demetrias. If the King would but show himself, he said, 
Macedonia and all Greece would rise to welcome him : but he 
must come at once, or the Eomans would be upon them. 

The only forces which Antiochus had ready were the 10,000 
men whom he had assembled to execute the plan of Hannibal. 
The great Carthaginian had overcome the King's jealous feelings 
by the tale of his boyish oath to bear eternal enmity against 
Eome ; and for a time Antiochus followed all his counsels. But 
the flattering words of Thoas once more estranged the King's 
mind from the great general ; and the lying iEtolian obtained 
absolute influence at court. Notwithstanding the pleadings of 
Hannibal, notwithstanding the warnings of the Roman Com- 
missioners, Antiochus determined to set sail for Europe, and 
thus virtually declared war against Rome. 

§ 6. He offered a solemn sacrifice at Troy, and in a few days 
landed at Demetrias. Here he was welcomed with loud accla- 
mations. The Boeotians, eager to satiate their hatred of Rome, 
received him joyfully ; the people of Elis, old enemies of the 
Achaean League, sent him favourable answers ; the Epirotes pro- 
mised to join him as soon as he should appear ; and Amy- 
nander, the Athamanian, was persuaded to desert his old allies 
and join Antiochus. The Achaeans, however, unanimously de- 
clined his offers. 

Presently, he held a council of war at Demetrias. The 
iEtolians advised that the first thing needful was to secure 
possession of all Thessaly. All the rest approved except 
Hannibal, who sate silent. The King asked his opinion. He 

Chap. XXXV. SYRIAN WAR. 343 

said that "his opinion was unchanged. He had thought before, 
and he thought still, that all the time spent in gaining the 
support of the Greeks was thrown away. They must side with 
the strongest, and if the King were victorious would join him 
as a matter of course. ' Tt was ill-advised to have believed 
the false reports of the iEtolians, and to have ventured into 
Greece with so small a force ; but now the best thing to be 
done was to force Philip to take part with them, by ordering 
Seleucus, the King's son," to advance into Macedonia ; to send 
for reinforcements without delay ; to station the fleet at Cor- 
cyra, and concentrate all the forces in Epirus, so as to meet the 
Romans there or (if possible) to invade Italy." 

§ 7. But this plan was too great for the petty mind of the 
King and his advisers. He spent the summer in Thessaly, and 
as winter approached retired to the fortress of Chalcis in Euboea, 
which had opened its gates at his approach. Here the senseless 
monarch gave himself up to enjoyment. He married a fair 
daughter of the place, and celebrated his marriage with Oriental 
splendour. His officers and their men followed the royal ex- 
ample ; all bonds of order and discipline were relaxed. The 
Syrians passed the winter in idling and drinking, and Philo- 
poemen regretted that he was no longer General of the League, 
or he would have cut off* the whole army in detail. 

Meanwhile the Senate were busily engaged in preparing for war. 
The conduct of Antiochus had so completely thrown the game 
into the hands of the Romans that it was easy to represent the 
war as one of simple defence. No one could say that they had 
provoked it. The Achaeans regarded them as their champions. 

§ 8. In the spring of the next year (191 B.C.) Antiochus roused 
himself and advanced into Acarnania. His prospects suddenly 
darkened. At the same moment he heard that Philip, with the 
authority of the Romans, was fast reconquering the Thessalian 
cities which had submitted in the previous year, and that the 
Consul, M' Acilius Glabrio, had also entered Thessaly. The 
iEtolians, after all their promises, brought but 4000 men into 
the field. Antiochus retraced his steps to Chalcis, and sent 
urgent messages for additional forces, but in vain. The Roman 
Consul was approaching Thermopylae from the north, and unless 
he were checked here, Boeotia and Eubcea, as well as Thessaly, 
would be lost. 

§ 9. The Pass of Thermopylae is formed, as is well known, by 
a spur of Mount (Eta, which comes close down upon the sea. 
The King intrenched himself in the narrowest place, like Leonidas 
of old, but not in the spirit of Leonidas. The mountain- 
path, by which the Persian troops had found a way to the rear 


of the Greeks, was now committed to the charge of the ^Etolians ; 
but these freebooters sent a small detachment only on this 
service, while they employed their chief force in seizing the 
neighbouring city of Heraclea. The Consul encamped in 
front of the Pass ; but before commencing the assault he sent 
his lieutenants, L. Valerius FlaGCus and M. Porcius Cato, to 
force their way over the mountain to the rear of the enemy. 
The Syrians defended their entrenchments well, but as soon 
as they found themselves attacked in rear, they threw down 
their arms and fled with precipitation, Antiochus himself was 
wounded in the mouth by a stone, and escaped with only 500 
men to Chalcis. The Consul embraced Cato before the whole 
army, and, declaring that the whole merit of the victory lay 
with him, sent him home with news of the victory. He tra- 
velled with the greatest speed, landed at Tarentum, and in five 
days more announced to the Senate that Greece was delivered 
from the Syrians. When the Consul advanced into Bceotia, 
the King re-embarked for Ephesus, taking with him his bride, 
the only conquest which he retained. 

§ 10. Glabrio soon reduced the strong places which had joined 
the enemy, and -then laid siege to Naupactus, the chief station 
of the ZEtolian navy. While he was thus engaged, Flamininus 
arrived in his camp. He immediately pointed out to the 
Consul that it would be an error to crush the iEtolians alto- 
gether, and thus to leave Philip, who had by this time recon- 
quered Upper Thessaly, without any people strong enough to 
balance his power in Upper Greece. Glabrio acquiesced, and 
Naupactus was left to the JEtolians. 

§ 11. On his way to the Consul's camp, Flamininus ordered 
the Messenians and Eleans to give in their adhesion to the 
Achaean League. Thus at length all Peloponnesus was combined 
into one Federate State, and the darling project of Aratus 
seemed to be fulfilled. But Philopoemen and the patriots looked 
sadly on. They felt that this consummation was due to foreign 
force, and was, in fact, a proof of weakness. This weakness 
appeared still more palpably before the departure of the Romans. 
The Achsoans laid claim to the island of Zacynthus, which had 
lately belonged to Philip. " Take care," said Flamininus, " what 
you do. Your League is like a tortoise, safe while it keeps its 
head within Peloponnesus, but in danger as soon as it ventures 
beyond." The League needed no further hint. It drew in its 
head, and Zacynthus passed into the hands of the Romans. 

§ 12. As soon as Antiochus had left Europe, he thought he was 
secure from the Romans. But Hannibal, who had prophesied the 
event of the last campaign, and had now regained some measure 

Chap. XXXV. SYRIAN WAR. 345 

of credit with the arrogant monarch, told him he only wondered 
they were not already in Asia. 

The Consuls for the new year (190 B.C.) were L. Scipio the elder 
brother, and C. Lselius the bosom friend, of the great Africanus. 
Loelius was anxious for the command in the East, and the Senate 
were disposed to confer it on him ; but Africanus rose in theSenate- 
house and said, that if they would give it to his brother, he would 
himself accompany him as lieutenant. This decided the question, 
and the two Scipios left the city as early as possible for Greece. 
They found Glabrio still engaged in the siege of petty fortresses. 
Africanus had taken care that a number of his own veterans 
should be enlisted in his brother's army ; and they both agreed 
that the war should be carried as soon as possible into Asia. 
L. Scipio therefore granted a fresh armistice to the yEtolians, 
and sent an envoy to Philip to demand a free passage for the 
army through Macedonia and Thrace. Philip, eager to retain 
his conquests in Thessaly, showed great alacrity in the Roman 
service. He repaired the roads and bridges, laid in stores for 
the army along the line of march, and attended the Consul in 
person to the Hellespont. 

§ 13. The march of the Romans eastward convinced Antiochus 
that Hannibal was a true prophet. He immediately ordered a 
force to be collected so vast as to insure victory over the rash 
invaders, and dispatched Hannibal into Phoenicia to bring up 
reinforcements for the fleet. 

But the Roman commander ordered a Rhodian fleet to the 
coast of Caria to intercept Hannibal, and the brave islanders 
performed this service with complete success : Hannibal's Phoe- 
nician squadron was dispersed, and the Rhodians, combined with 
the Roman ships, attacked the Syrian fleet. A sharp conflict 
ensued off Myonnesus, a promontory of Lydia, in which the 
Syrian Admiral lost more than half his fleet, and left the sea at 
the command of the enemy. 

§ 14. The King had collected a vast army from all quarters. 
Besides his own people, he gathered levies from North and South. 
All kinds of men appeared in his ranks : Scythian and Galatian 
horsemen ; Persian riders clad in complete armour, man and 
horse ; scythed cars, like those of the Western Celts ; Cretan 
slingers ; Arabian archers mounted on dromedaries ; Indian 
elephants to the number of forty-four.* Sixteen thousand men 
bore the redoubted name of the Phalanx ; and the elite of the 
army, like that of Alexander, were called Argyraspids ; but 

* The Romans had a few African elephants, an inferior kind. They first 
used elephants in the Macedonian war (Liv. xxxi. 36), but they never relied 
much on these animals. 



though the names and arms were Macedonian, the men were the 
men of Xerxes and Darius. 

With this host Antiochus ravaged the plains of Mysia and 
Lydia. Pergamus was bravely defended by Attalus, the young 
King's brother, Eumenes himself being with the Roman army. 
Africanus, who was one of the Salian Priests of Mars, stayed in 
Europe for the due performance of certain solemn rites, while 
the army crossed the Hellespont. Soon after this, he was taken 
ill, and obliged to remain at Elaea, the seaport of Pergamus, 
while the army advanced towards the .King's quarters at 
Thyatira. At the approach of the Romans, Antiochus fell back 
across the Hyllus, and encamped at Magnesia under Mount 
Sipylus. He was closely followed by the Consul, who also 
crossed the river, and took up a position within three miles of 
the King's camp. Still Antiochus declined an engagement, till 
he found that the Romans were preparing to attack him in his 
entrenchment. Then he drew out his vast army in battle order. 

§ 15. It is needless to give a detailed account of the battle. 
The Syrian army was three or four times as numerous as that of 
Scipio, who had invaded Asia with a common Consular army, 
supported by 3000 Achaeans, 800 men from Pergamus, and a few 
volunteers from Thrace and Macedonia ; but they were more 
than enough to defeat the Syrians, The King fled, leaving 53,000 
men upon the field. The Romans, it is said, lost no more than 

§ 16. By the single battle of Magnesia, Antiochus the Great 
lost all his conquests in Asia Minor. He did not deem himself 
safe till he reached Apamea, in the south of Phrygia, where he 
was joined by his son Seleucus and his chief counsellors. Hence 
he sent ambassadors to the Consul to treat for peace. L. Scipio 
was at Sardis with his brother Africanus, who now took upon 
himself to dictate the terms. Antiochus was to surrender all 
his possessions north of Mount Taurus ; and pay down a sum 
of 3000 talents, with a tribute of 1000 for twelve succeeding 
years. All his ships of war and elephants were to be given up 
for ever ; he was to abstain from all interference with European 
matters ; he was not even allowed to hire mercenaries in Europe. 
The persons of Hannibal the Carthaginian and Thoas the iEtolian, 
with some others, were to be surrendered to the Romans. 

§ 17. L. Scipio repaired straightway to Rome to enjoy his 
splendid but easy triumph. In imitation of his brother, he 
assumed the after-name of Asiaticus. The booty he had made 
was great beyond example, the sums he paid into the treasury 
enormous. The Macedonian and Syrian wars laid the foundation 
of those prodigious fortunes which afterwards distinguished the 

Chap. XXXV. SYRIAN WAR. 347 

Roman nobles, and introduced that gorgeous but barbaric luxury 
which corrupted the manners of the whole people, and led to in- 
curable evils in the State. 

§ 18. The Senate now had leisure to punish the iEtolians. 
Soon after the departure of the Scipios for Asia, false reports 
reached Greece of successes gained by Antiochus, and the iEto- 
lians, flying to arms, drove- Philip from his late conquests to the 
west of Mount Pindus. On this news the Senate ordered M. 
Fulvius Nobilior, one of the Consuls for the year 189, to take 
the command in Greece, while his colleague, Cn. Manlius Vulso, 
succeeded L. Scipio in Asia. Fulvius immediately laid siege 
to Ambracia, while Perseus, the son of Philip, invaded iEtolia 
from the north, and the Achseans from the south. Ambracia, 
a noble and well-fortified town, the ancient capital of Pyrrhus, 
was bravely defended ; but the iEtolian chiefs, finding their con- 
dition desperate, hastened to send a new embassy to Rome with 
full submission. Philip was now as anxious to annihilate the 
iEtolians, as the iEtolians had formerly been eager to destroy 
him ; but Flamininus had saved Philip from the iEtolians, and 
he now interfered to save the iEtolians from Philip, The Senate 
listened to his arguments, and allowed them to become the 
vassals of Rome. The Roman wars in Greece were now ended 
for some years. 

§ 19. Manlius, on arriving in Asia, was much disappointed by 
finding that the war had been finished by the battle of Magnesia, 
and that nothing remained but for the Commissioners of the 
Senate who accompanied him to confirm the peace dictated by 
Africanus. But he was too anxious for plunder and a triumph 
not to seek for war, and an occasion presented itself in the 
circumstance that the Galatians had served in the ranks of the 
Syrian army at Magnesia. 

It has before been mentioned that Galatia was a district of 
Northern Phrygia, which had been seized by a host of Gauls, 
who had been driven out of Greece about a century before. In 
the heart of Asia they retained their Celtic habits and names. By 
continual plundering they had amassed great stores of wealth. 

When the Consul advanced into their country, the Galatians 
retired into their mountain fastnesses, but without avail. In two 
great battles they were defeated by the Romans, and obliged to 
give up all their riches. From this time these Asiatic Gauls 
gradually became assimilated to the Greeks. 

§ 20. Manlius spent a second year as Proconsul in Asia Minor. 
In company with the ten Commissioners of the Senate, he re- 
ceived ambassadors from the various States, and distributed the 
possessions of Antiochus in Asia Minor according to a decree of 



the Senate. Eumenes of Pergamus was rewarded by the gift of 
Mysia, Lydia, Phrygia, and part of Caria, with those Thracian 
towns which Antiochus had abandoned. The rest of Caria, with 
Lyoia and Pisidia, was given to the Rhodians. Caria and Lycia 
rightly belonged to Ptolemy Epiphanes, but that prince had 
offended the Senate by marrying a daughter of King Antiochus. 
§21. The Galatian war, insignificant as it was, became the 
root of great evils. It was the first time that a Roman General, 
had ventured to make war without the authority of the Senate. 
Nay, the ten Commissioners had expressly forbidden the enter- 
prise ; and when Manlius applied for a triumph, one of the ten 
opposed it warmly ; but there were too many young officers in 
the Senate who looked forward to like opportunities, and the 
Consul was allowed to celebrate his triumph over the Galatians, 
His example was followed too often in after- times. 

Chap. XXXVI. . ( 349 ) 


SYRIAN WARS. (200 — 177 B.C.) 

§ 1. Wars in Northern Italy: the Ligurians. § 2. Conquest of the Boians : 
Placentia and Cremona peopled anew: Colony of Bononia founded. § 3. 
Conquest of the Italian Ligurians. § 4. iEmilian Road: Colonies of Mutina, 
Parma, and Lucca: new Province of Cisalpine Gaul. § 5. Condition of the 
Spanish Peninsula. § 6. Conquest of Northern Spain by Cato. § 7. Ser- 
vices and triumph of Cato. § 8. Continued troubles in Spain to the 
Prsetorship of Tib. Gracchus. § 9. Reduction of Sardinia by Gracchus : 
Sardi venales. §10. Conquest of Istria : Colony of Aquileia. 

§ 1. While two or three Consuls were winning riches and 
honours in the East at an easy rate, others were engaged in the 
West with far more stubborn adversaries. Tedious wars with the 
barbarians in Northern Italy, and with the brave tribes of Cen- 
tral Spain, offered little to attract greedy or ambitious Senators ; 
and yet in these districts many generals were compelled to keep 
watch and ward for years. 

It was about the year 200 B.C. that the Senate received news 
of a general rising in Northern Italy. The Gauls, who took part 
in the movement, were the old enemies of Rome — the Boians 
south of the Po, with the Insubfians and Cenomannians on the 
far side of that great river. A new enemy was behind, the 
Ligurians, a wild people of uncertain race, who occupied the 
mountainous district of the Maritime Alps and Upper Apennines, 
from near the Rhone to the confines of Etruria. 

§ 2. Three campaigns sufficed to reduce the Gallic tribes 
beyond the Po ; and the Boians, being left to carry on the con- 
flict single-handed, excited the Ligurians to renew their inroads. 
In 193 B.C., bands of these marauders appeared before Pisa and 
Placentia at once. But in 191, when Glabrio was forcing the 
Pass of Thermopylae, his colleague, P. Scipio Nasica, received the 
final submission of the Boians. They purchased peace at the 
price of half their territory ; but the half which remained was 
more than enough for their numbers, diminished by nine years' 
deadly war with Rome. In the next year (190), C. Laelius, dis- 
appointed of the command against Antiochus, was employed 
in settling the conquered country. The colonies of Placentia 
and Cremona, which had suffered greatly since the time of 
Hannibal's first appearance in Italy, were re-peopled by 6000 
families of Roman and Latin citizens. Part of the confiscated 


lands were assigned to a new colony at Felsina, which assumed 
the name of Bononia, or (as it is now called) Bologna. 

$ 3. But to subdue the Ligurians in their mountains required 
long years of desultory warfare. These nimble mountaineers, 
lean and sinewy in form, inured to hardship, unincumbered with 
baggage, acquainted with every bye-path and fastness in their 
native hills, carried on a sort of guerilla warfare, which the Ro- 
mans found as difficult to deal with as regular armies have always 
found in similar cases. Whenever the enemy presented a front, 
they were sure to be defeated ; but even then the bulk of the force 
escaped by mountain paths, and met again in some well-known 
resort. Often they surprised careless or over-confident com- 
manders, and cut off large bodies of Roman troops. But year 
after year the Roman columns penetrated further and further 
into the Ligurian fastnesses. One tribe after another submitted. 
L. iErnilius Paullus, son of him who fell at Cannse, himself des- 
tined to become one of Rome's most famous men, remained in 
Liguria with proconsular command for several years. In 180, he 
received the submission of two of their bravest tribes, the In- 
gaunians and Apuans ; and the last-named people, who marched 
with Etruria along the Macra, were transplanted into Samnium 
to the number of 40,000 souls, and their lands confiscated to 
the use of the Roman People. The war was virtually at an end. 

§ 4. The submission of Northern Italy was no doubt hast- 
ened by the construction of military roads. M. iEmilius 
Lepidus, Consul for the year 187 B.C., the same who irritated 
Philip by his peremptory manner, constructed the great road 
which bore his name through the new colony of Bononia to 
Placentia, being a continuation of the Flaminian Way, or Great 
North Road, made by C. Flaminius in 220 from Pome to Ari- 
minum ; while Flaminius the son, being the colleague of Lepidus, 
made a branch road from Bononia across the Apennines to Arre- 
tium. Soon after, on the line of the iEmilian Road, between 
Bononia and Placentia, the Senate planted the colonies of Mutina 
(Modena) and Parma. The confiscated territory of the Apuans 
was assigned to the new colony of Lucca. Thus did Rome 
secure her conquests in the North as in the South. It was 
soon after these wars that the whole of Cisalpine Gaul with 
Italian Liguria was formed into a great Province, which was 
always treated with favour, and proved one of the most valuable 
possessions of the Roman Empire. The Gallic towns became 
Latin in language and feeling, as well as in government ; and 
some notable Romans of later times, among whom may be 
named Livy the Historian, a Pacluan by birth, sprang from the 
loins of these Latinised Celts. 


§ 5. We must now follow the tide of Roman conquest in the 
Spanish Peninsula. That part of Spain which had been con- 
quered by Scipio was divided into two Provinces, known as 
Hispania Citerior and Ulterior, each being ruled by a Praetor or 
Proconsul. But these Provinces in fact included only a small 
portion of the Peninsula. Hither Spain ran along the coast 
southward to a point beyond Carthagena, its western boundary 
being as yet indeterminate : Further Spain contained little more 
than modern Andalusia. The rest of Spain was still uncon- 
quered. The Celtiberians, a brave race, who inhabited the chief 
parts of Castille, dwelt in numerous cities strong both by nature 
and art. The Lusitanians, who occupied the mountainous dis- 
tricts of Western Spain and Portugal, between the Douro and 
Guadiana, were shepherds or guerillas as the case required ; now 
tending their flocks on the hill-sides, now making armed forays 
into the heart of the Further province. The Gallaecians and 
Cantabrians, between the Douro and the Bay of Biscay, had as 
yet scarcely heard of the Roman name. 

§ 6. The formation of Spanish Provinces took place apparently 
in 197 B.C., when we first hear of six Praetors, two being destined 
to govern Spain. A general outbreak followed, and may be attri- 
buted to the fear entertained by the Spaniards that the Romans 
meditated the eventual conquest of all their tribes. When 
M. Porcius Cato, Consul in the year 195 B.C., entered on office, 
he was dispatched at once to the Hither province to subdue the 
insurrection. This remarkable man had already distinguished 
himself as a Legionary Tribune under Fabius in the Hannibalic 
War, and had served as Quaestor under the great Scipio in Sicily. 
We have also recorded, by anticipation, the glory he won by 
turning the Pass of Thermopylae in the campaign of Glabrio. But 
his military fame chiefly depends upon his operations in Spain. 

When he landed at Emporiae (Ampurias), he found the whole 
country, up to the very walls of this place, in arms ; nay, the 
Spaniards of Emporiae itself were only prevented by the presence 
of a Roman garrison from joining their countrymen. He gave 
proof of his determined temper by dismissing the speculators who 
usually contracted to supply the army with victuals : " for," said 
he, " I will make the war support itself." He spent some time in 
training his troops for the desultory warfare of the Spaniards, 
occasionally dashing into the country occupied by the enemy, 
and inuring his men to every hardship. He shared all privations 
with the common soldiers, and won their affection by his blunt 
manners and rough jests. Sometimes he rode through the ranks, 
armed with a rude countryman's javelin, called spams, and chas- 
tised offenders not over gently with his own hand. 


When this training had lasted long enough to give the General 
and his men confidence in each other, Cato led them forth to 
attack the Spaniards, who were encamped in force near Emporiae. 
He fell unexpectedly on their rear, and defeated them with great 
slaughter. Profiting by the terror thus inspired, he penetrated 
into all the mountain valleys from the Ebro to Carthagena, and 
executed merciless vengeance on those who resisted. To the 
rapid military movements by which ho terrified his opponents, 
he added a diplomatic trick, which shows the disconnected con- 
dition of the tribes he had to deal with. To the chiefs of every 
strong place in Northern Spain he addressed letters, command- 
ing them on pain of suffering Koman vengeance to dismantle 
their fortifications, and took care that every letter should be 
delivered on or about the same day. Each chief supposed the 
order was addressed to himself alone ; and each, fearing Cato's 
severity for himself, obeyed the order. 

§ 7. Thus in a few weeks Cato reduced the whole Northern 
province to submission. No doubt he committed great atrocities. 
Numbers fell by the sword ; more still were taken and sold as 
slaves : many, to avoid this fate, put themselves to death. But 
no Roman General hesitated to use harsh measures ; no one 
thought of censuring him for doing so. 

After his operations in the North, he made an excursion into 
the Southern province, and by his presence assisted the Proetor in 
repelling the assaults of the LusitaniaiiS, so that Cato had some 
reason for his boast, that he had pacified the whole of Spain. He 
returned to Rome laden with booty and honour. It must be 
mentioned to his credit, that he reserved no large share of plun- 
der for himself, though he bestowed a handsome largess on each 
of his soldiers. "Better," he said, "that many men should have 
plenty of silver, than that one man should have plenty of gold." 

The Senate were so well satisfied with his successes that they 
decreed a Thanksgiving of Three Days ; and the triumph which he 
celebrated was the first which Rome had witnessed since the 
triumph of Scipio over Hannibal. It was happy for Cato's 
vanity that Flamininus returned home a few weeks later, or the 
glory of the Spanish triumph would have been eclipsed by the 
greater splendour of the Macedonian. 

§ 8. It is however probable that the measures taken by Cato 
for the future government of the Spanish provinces sowed the 
seeds of future evil. He laid regular taxes and imposts on the 
Spanish subjects of Rome, and confiscated as State-property the 
mines of silver and gold, which in those days made Spain an 
object of contention. It was foreseen by Scipio that the mea- 
sures of Cato would irritate the Spaniards ; and his apprehen- 


sions were justified. For the next' sixteen years Rome was 
engaged in continual wars with the Spaniards. But in the 
year 179 B.C., sixteen years after the Consulship of Cato, the 
limits of the Upper Province were settled, and a general paci- 
fication brought about. This happy result was due to Tib. 
Sempronius Gracchus, father of the famous Gracchi. He was 
himself a man of ability and courage, and ruled with a modera- 
tion little known and less valued among Romans. Many com- 
munities, who had been deprived of home and land, received 
new settlements, for which they were required to pay certain 
yearly dues, and to perform military service at the order of the 
Roman Governor. No city was henceforth to fortify itself 
without the consent of Rome. In other respects they were 
allowed to govern themselves without interference. Such is all 
that we know of the famous pacification of Gracchus. 

§ 9. Here may be added a notice of some other conquests 
made by Kome in this same period. The Sardinians and Corsi- 
cans, who had first risen against Rome in the Second Punic War, 
again appeared in arms about the year 181 B.C., for what cause or 
with what justice we know not. This petty war continued, till 
after his return from Spain Tib. Gracchus obtained the Consul- 
ship. His vigorous hand soon checked the insurrection ; and 
after an absence of two years he celebrated a triumph over the 
islanders. His measures do not seem to have been marked with 
the same forbearance which distinguished him in Spain ; for so 
great was the number of prisoners brought home and sold that 
the slave-market was glutted, and " Sardinians for sale " became a 
proverbial expression for anything that was cheap and common* 

§ 10. The conquest of the northern shores of the Adriatic 
took place about the same time. In the year 183 B.C., a son of 
the great Marcellus, being Consul for the year, had occasion to 
march into Venetia to repel a threatened irruption of Celtic 
tribes from the north. Having effected his purpose with little 
difficulty, he wrote to the Senate to point out the great advan- 
tage which the Republic would derive from the possession of the 
peninsula between the modern towns of Trieste and Fiume. 
which then as now bore the name of Istria ; and without 
waiting for a reply from the Government, he invaded the country. 
The Senate sanctioned his unprovoked attack ; and. soon after, 
possession was secured by the Latin colony of Aquileia, which 
became a place of great importance as a barrier against the 
northern barbarians. When it was destroyed by Attila. from its 
ashes rose the famous city of Venice. 

* " Sardi venales," Li v. xl. 19. 


Tomb of the Scipios, as restored by Canina. 


civil history during the macedonian and syrian wars : cor- 
ruption of manners : senatorial predominance : scipio and 
cato. (200—169 b.c.) 

§ 1. General inclination to War caused by the conquests in the East. § 2. 
Change in the character of the Roman armies. § 3. Evil effects of war on the 
social condition of Romans. § 4. Rapid rise of the new "Nobility of wealth : 
its oligarchical tendency. § 5. Evil effects of sudden wealth on manners 
and morals. § 6. Bribery. § 7. Evidence of profligacy: L. Flamininus: 
Bacchanalia: Poisoning by women. § 8. State of parties in the Senate: 
Scipio. § 9. Cato leader of the attack on Scipio : his previous life. § 10. 
Cato's bitterness against Greek fashions. § 11. L. Scipio required to pro- 
duce his accounts: conduct of P. Scipio: he is indicted before the People: 
his reply. § 12. New attack upon P. Scipio, diverted to Lucius: arrest 
of the latter prevented first by the armed interference of his brother, 
then by the intercession of Tib. Gracchus. § 13. Retirement and death 
of Scipio. § 14. Death of Hannibal in the same year. § 15. Cato turns 
upon the Senatorial party: his election to the Censorship. § 16. Severity 
of his Censorial administration. §17. Character. 

§ 1. Though it was with great difficulty that the citizens were 
induced to consent to the Macedonian War, to the Senators war 


was welcome even at that time of extreme depression. By 
commands, embassies, and commissions to foreign courts, they 
expected to find means of repairing their past losses and enrich- 
ing themselves ; and they were not mistaken. And after the 
wars in the East a great change seems to have wrought in the 
feelings of the People also. The yeomen of Italy saw their 
brethren returning home laden with booty. A royal road to 
riches is always thronged, and we hear no more of disinclination 
to declare war. It was seldom necessary to resort to the Census- 
roll for compulsory enlistment. The Legions were filled by 

§ 2. A great change now began to be introduced into the con- 
stitution of the Roman armies. During the Punic Wars, it had 
often been found impossible to dismiss the Legions levied for the 
year after the year's campaign was over. And what had hitherto 
been the exception now became the rule. A general usually 
kept the men who first took service under him during his whole 
command, and often handed them over to his successor. Thus 
the old militia of the Republic changed its character, and a race; 
of professional soldiers came into being. There was not, indeed, 
a standing army in our sense of the word. The soldiery were 
not so much servants of the State, as attached to the person of 
a successful general, whom they regarded as their patron. This 
new state of things reached its height under Marius and Caesar *, 
but it took its origin with Scipio. Scipio was refused by the 
Senate the levies which he deemed necessary for the invasion of 
Africa, and he raised volunteers on his own credit. These men 
were rewarded with grants of land in Southern Italy. But theii 
swords were at the command of any leader who offered a chance 
of fresh booty. Many enlisted for service in the Macedonian 
and Syrian Wars. This tendency to regard a soldier's business 
as a profession, rather than as the occasional duty of a citizen, 
received a great impulse from the invasion of Galatia by Cn. 
Manlius Vulso. From this time Livy dates the greedy and 
licentious spirit which marked the Roman soldiery of his own 
time, as it has marked soldiers of fortune in all times. 

§ 3. Thus the lust of conquest became general. The Senate 
had now no difficulty in carrying w r ar-votes. Wars were no 
longer defensive, even in pretence. Increase of empire w T as 
the hardly-concealed motive of action. The most detestable 
practices were employed to create intestine dissensions in all 
countries, to encourage one potentate against another, to 
provoke quiet and independent States by acts of intolerable 
arrogance, to bring about by what means soever an appeal tc 
Roman arbitration. Senatorial commissions were continually 


crossing the sea to Greece and Asia, to Carthage and Egypt. 
Diplomatic arts of the basest kind were becoming part of the 
profession of Senator. The rude simplicity of the old Eoman 
character was degenerating into brutal arrogance, or was used as 
a cloak for the meanest and most hypocritical ends. 

§ 4. The Senate itself was every day becoming more confined 
and oligarchial. We have before (Chapt. xxxi. § 6) shown how 
the superior offices of the State were barred against men of 
moderate fortune. The old distinctions of blood had ceased : in 
the year 173 B.C. both Consuls were Plebeian. But a new Nobility 
was rising, consisting of the wealthy Senatorial families. Here 
wealth was the mother of wealth : a family once enobled by office 
had so many opportunities of making money, that every day it 
became more difficult for an upstart or New Man (as persons 
were called whose progenitors had not held office) to make his 
way to the Consulship, or even into the Senate. Those who 
could place in their vestibules or carry out to funerals the 
greatest number of the images of ancestors distinguished by 
office were the most noble. The Senate was fast becoming an 
oligarchical council, almost hereditary in certain families. 

§ 5. It will readily be perceived how fatal must have been the 
influence exercised on manners and morals by these changes. It 
has been said with melancholy truth that at the moment when 
the history of the Kepublic begins to extend itself so as to 
embrace the whole civilised w T orld, it loses all its moral in- 
terest. The Romans before their conquests were (as we have 
seen) a hardy, thrifty, self-denying, and religious race, but 
withal ignorant, rude, destitute of common charity and humanity 
in their dealings with foreigners. When enormous wealth and 
power are suddenly placed in the hands of such a people, the 
results are certain. The proverbs of every nation testify to the 
arrogance and vices of rich upstarts ; and the Romans were no 
exceptions to the rule. They were much in the condition of 
savages exposed to the first influences of civilisation, who eagerly 
imbibe its new vices, and retain their own grossness. 

The Roman historians with one voice concur in these repre- 
sentations. "The great Scipio," says Velleius with pregnant 
brevity, "opened the way to empire; his brother to luxury." 
"The Asiatic army," says Livy, "first introduced among us 
couches of rich workmanship, cloths of delicate texture, and all 
kinds of costly furniture. They set the fashion of sumptuous 
banquets, at which the guests were at once regaled with the 
choicest viands and charmed with voluptuous music. Cooks, 
who had formerly been the cheapest kind of slave, now became 
the most valuable," 


§ 6. The effect of the rapidly increasing wealth on political 
morality is proved by the frequent laws against Bribery at Elec- 
tions, which may be dated from the year 181 B.C.* 

§ 7. Some incidents have been preserved which prove the 
rising profligacy. Lucius Flamininus, brother of the famous 
Titus, was elected Consul in 192 b.c, and sent to Cisalpine Gaul. 
He had lately bought a beautiful Carthaginian boy, who indulged 
in loud complaints at being taken away from Rome just before 
the exhibition of the great gladiatorial games. Soon after the 
Consul reached his province, a Gallic chieftain fled with his 
family to seek for protection in the Roman camp. The fugitive 
was brought to the Consul's tent, where he was feasting with 
his unworthy minion. "Now," said Lucius, "you shall be re- 
warded for not seeing the gladiators ;" and, at a sign, one of the 
attendants stabbed the suppliant, that his dying agonies might 
amuse the cruel boy. 

A sure sign of corruption appears in the dissolute manners 
that were discovered among the women. In 186 B.C., the 
Consul Posthumius was accidentally informed that there were 
not only in Rome, but in many Italian towns, secret societies, 
in which young men and women were dedicated to Bacchus ; 
and that, under the cloak of religious ceremonies, every kind 
of licence and debauchery was practised. The Senate issued 
a stringent Decree for the repression of Bacchanalian orgies. 
Numbers of men were put to death ; the women were handed 
over to the heads of their respective families, for the law did 
not permit the public execution of a female. 

§ 8. The state of parties in the Senate in the earlier part of 
this period is singular. When Scipio returned to Rome as the 
conqueror of Hannibal, he was saluted by the people as the 
saviour of Italy. He might then have put himself at the head 
of a popular party, and crushed the ascendancy lately gained by 
the Senate. He had been elected Consul against the will of 
the Senatorial majority ; he had won his Triumph by setting 
their known opinion at defiance. He was the idol of the People. 
It was proposed to set up his statue in the Forum, in the Comi- 
tium, in the Senate-house, on the Capitol, in the very Temple of 
Jupiter. Nay, there was a general wish to make him Dictator for 
life, in the hope that by the same vigour and address which had 
marked his military career he might put an end to the social evils, 
the debt, the misery which followed the dreadful Hannibalic War. 

* There were earlier laws do Ambitu; but these were intended by the 
Nobility to check the New Men from canvassing* Now canvassing and bribery 
became synonymous, and were expressed by the same word — Ambitus. 



Scipio was still in the prime of life, not more than thirty-five 
years of age. But he had no taste for the cares and toils of a 
party-leader. He put aside the honours offered him with the 
same calm disdain with which he had declined the crown offered 
him by the Celtiberians. It is always difficult for a soldier who 
from early years has held high command to acquire the tact 
necessary for managing the war of parties. Hannibal, indeed, 
had shown himself as able in statesmanship as in war ; but it 
was by the despotic method of the camp. He was backed by 
his veterans ; by their aid he made himself master of Carthage, 
and ruled it with imperial sway. Scipio might perhaps have 
done the same at Rome. But he was not like Hannibal. He 
used to say, that " he was never less alone than when alone," 
so fond was he of literature and art. Those who were intimate 
with him loved him dearly . But he never concealed a certain 
proud indifference for opinion, whether of the Senate or the 
people, which soon dimmed his popularity. He cared not for 
these things. He preferred the society of the poet Ennius to 
the applause of the people or the favour of the Senate. 

In 199 B.C., he was chosen Censor ; his friendly colleague, Q. 
iElius Psetus, named him Chief of the Senate, and he retained 
this high rank till the Censorship of Cato in 184, one year before 
his death. In 193, he held the Consulship for a second time, 
and his popularity received a mortal blow from his own hand. 
The Censors of that year proposed to appropriate the front places 
in the Theatre to the Senatorial Order, and Scipio supported 
the proposal. 

But it was not till after his return from Asia that his enemies 
ventured to attack him openly. Those enemies were no doubt 
the leaders of the old Senatorial party. But the person who led 
the assault bore the famous name of Cato. 

§ 9. M. Porcius Cato was born at the provincial town of Tus- 
culum in the same year with the great Scipio : they were both 
seventeen years of age when Hannibal crossed the Alps. Cato's 
patrimony lay in the Sabine country, near the humble dwelling 
once occupied by the great Curius Dentatus. The youth looked 
with reverence on the hearth at which Curius was roasting his 
radishes when he rejected the Samnite gold, and resolved to 
make the rustic hero his model. He used to work with his 
slaves, wearing the same coarse dress, and partaking of the same 
simple fare. His natural power of speaking he exercised by 
pleading in the law-courts of the neighbouring town. His 
shrewd remarks passed current in the country ; and the fame of 
the youthful orator reached the ears of L. Valerius Flaccus, a 
young nobleman of the neighbourhood, himself a determined 


friend of the ancient Eoman manners. Flaccus bad discern- 
ment enough to see what was in Cato ; he became his friend, 
and persuaded him to go to Eome, there to enter on a publib life. 
The honourable intimacy thus begun continued throughout life. 
Flaccus and Cato were colleagues in almost every office of State. 

Cato at once attached himself to the party of Fabius, who at 
that time dispensed all the honours of the Eepublic. He served 
under the old General at Capua and at Tarentum ; and being 
elected Quaestor in 205 B.C., was sent with Scipio to Sicily, 
When Cato returned to Eome, the favour of the old Senatorial 
party, and the popularity he had won by unabashed self-con- 
fidence, blunt bearing, and caustic eloquence, enabled him to 
gain the highest honours with little difficulty. He was Praetor 
in Sardinia in 198 B.C., at the age of thirty-seven, and gained 
credit by the uprightness of his administration, though he was 
thought too severe against the practice of usury. He was 
Consul in his fortieth year ; and we have already followed his 
able conduct of the Spanish war. Four years later he returned 
to Eome with the dispatch announcing the victory of Ther- 
mopylae, which he himself had mainly contributed to gain. 

§ 10. Such was the man who, in the year 187 B.C., led the 
attack upon Scipio. From his first connexion with Fabius, he 

(had formed an inveterate hatred against his patron's rival ; and 
as Scipio was the leader of the new Hellenic manners, so Cato 
constituted himself as the protector of the old Eoman life. 

Cato seems to have thought that all evil was due to the 
introduction of Greek customs. No doubt Greece was at that 
time fast verging to that miserable state in which she still 
lies. But the corruption of Eome would have followed, if 
there had been no Greece to corrupt. The vices for which 
Eomans* became notorious were not Hellenic. It was not 
part of the nature of Greeks to spend large sums in glut- 
tonous eating and coarse sensuality. Pericles boasted that his 
countrymen cultivated their taste for the beautiful without extra- 
vagance :* and the same might be said of their pleasures ; they 
are and were a frugal race. No doubt the quick-w T itted and un- 
scrupulous Greeks who, as slaves or freedmen, thronged the 
houses of the Eoman nobles, were more adroit ministers of vice 
than the duller natives of other lands ; but they obeyed rather 
than guided the propensities of their masters ; and it must not 
be forgotten that the philosophers, statesmen, and artists of 
Greece flocked to Eome, as well as her parasites and pandars. 
Those who cultivated .Greek letters and art were the noblest 

* (ptXojcctXovptv fAzr tv<rs\sia$ 9 Thuc. ii. 40. 


sons of Rome, — Scipio himself, Lepidus, Paullus, and the like. 
The second Scipio was, as we shall see, trained by the precepts 
and friendship of a Greek statesman. 

§11. The first attack upon Scipio was judiciously made 
through his brother Asiaticus, who was required by the Tribune 
Petillius to produce an account of receipts and expenditure 
during his Asiatic command. Africanus bade his brother fetch 
the books, and then taking them from his hands tore them in 
fragments before the Senate, saying that "it was unworthy to 
call a man to account for a few thousands who had paid millions 
into the Treasury." This contemptuous disregard of opinion 
and law was now made the ground of accusation against Scipio 
himself. On other occasions he had been guilty of similar 
acts of arrogance. When the Quoestors refused to pay him 
certain moneys without an order from the Senate, he had taken 
the keys by force, saying that " one who had closed the Trea- 
sury by his successes had the best right to open it." These 
and other instances of contempt were brought before the People 
Scipio rose to answer. He took no notice of the charges laid 
against him, but gave a simple history of his life and ser- 
vices. The glory of the man revived ; the memory of old times 
returned ; all hearts yearned again towards him who had driven 
the fell African from the shores of Italy ; the sun set before the 
Assembly had passed to a vote. Next day was the anniversary 
of the battle of Zama. Scipio appeared in a festal robe, escorted 
by a splendid retinue of friends and followers. " Romans," he 
said, " on this day I defeated Hannibal. I am on my way to the 
Capitol to render thanks to the great gods of the city. Follow 
me, Romans, and pray to those gods that you may always have 
leaders such as I am." The effect of these words was electrical. 
The multitude rose with one accord, and followed the hero up 
the Sacred Ascent. The Tribune was left alone with his at- 

§ 12. This was the last day of Scipio's greatness. The cool 
animosity of Cato pursued him with untiring zeal, and another 
Tribune was urged to renew the prosecution. On the day 
appointed the great man did not appear : he had left Rome. 
Asiaticus alleged sickness as the cause of his brother's absence, 
and prayed for an adjournment. After some question, the plea 
was allowed ; but the accusers turned upon the advocate. TJiis 
was politic. It is not likely that a vote of condemnation could 
have been obtained against Africanus : his character was un- 
blemished, and late events had shown that the memory of the 
past was not dead ; but Asiaticus was not above suspicion. It 
was said that of the Syrian spoils a large sum due to the Trea- 

Chap. XXXVII. CATO. 361 

sury had found its way into his private coffers, and the scene 
in the Senate-house confirmed the belief. 

So soon as Africanus heard of the proceedings against his 
brother, he hastened to Home, and reached the Forum in time to 
see his person seized by the officers of the Tribune. He was 
followed by an armed retinue, and rescued Lucius by force from 
their custody. It seemed as if now there was to be a beginning 
of those bloody frays which disgraced the city in later times ; 
but this dire extremity was averted by a Tribune who had as 
yet taken no part in the business. This was Tib. Sempronius 
Gracchus, whom we have already seen so honourably distin- 
guished for humanity in Spain. "He did not interfere," he said, 
" from any wish to thwart the action of law. He was still, as he 
had ever been, an enemy of the Scipios ; but rather than per- 
mit domestic war, he would himself bar the arrest of L. Scipio. 
It was better that the will of the People should be frustrated by 
one of their own Tribunes than by the arrogance of a private 
citizen." He then forbade all further attempts to seize the 
person of Asiaticus. 

§ 13. The great Scipio felt that his name could no longer work 
like a spell upon the people. He retired to his villa at Liternum, 
where he lived some years longer in retirement ; and when he 
found his end approaching, he ordered himself to be buried there. 
" Ungrateful city !" he said, " thou shalt not even have my ashes." 
The three statues of himself, his brother, and the poet Ennius, 
which stood outside the Capuan Gate at Rome, were placed over 
a sepulchral vault built by the heir of his name and fame, the 
younger Africanus. He died in the year 183 B.C., in the fifty- 
fourth year of his age, though the fine bust still preserved bears 
the appearance of an older man.* He was too lordly to be the 
useful citizen of a Republic, too generous to become her master. 
His later career threw a shadow over services which were worth 
more to Rome than those of any other of her sons. 

§ 14. In the self-same year Hannibal breathed his last. After 
the loss of his last hope by the destruction of the Syrian host at 
Magnesia, he wandered from land to land till he found a resting- 
place at the Court of Prusias of Bithynia. The Senate could 
not breathe while their great enemy lived ; and Flamininus was 
sent to demand from Prusias the person of his illustrious guest. 
The King dared not say nay, and gave Hannibal to understand 
that he must be surrendered to Flamininus ; but the great 
Carthaginian, to avoid falling into the hands of his implacable 

* It was discovered, with that of Ennius, in the Tomb. The Tomb is 

figured at the head of this Chapter, the bust of Scipio at the head of Chapt. 
xxx., that of Ennius at the end of Chapt. xlv. 



foes, swallowed a dose of poison, which, according to the com- 
mon story, he carried with him constantly in the hollow of a 
ring. He was sixty-three years of age. Life had long ceased to 
be valuable to him, because opposition to Rome had become 
hopeless. He died, as he lived, faithful to the service of that 
avenging deity to whom he had been bound in boyhood by his 
father Hamilcar. 

§ 15. The fall of Scipio threw all power into the hands of 
the old Senatorial party. The names of the Gentes friendly to 
Scipio nearly disappear, for a season, from the Fasti. The 
noble iEmilius Paullus, who had rendered signal services to the 
State in Liguria and in Spain, was unable to obtain the Consulship 
till a late age. But Cato no longer held by the Senatorial party. 
His first connection with them arose from the fact that they 
represented his old patron, Fabius. They had supported Cato 
up to his Consulship, because he was a useful hound to run 
down Scipio ; but when he offered himself for the Censorship 
in 189, they used all their influence against him, and he was 
defeated. They knew well that he was a sworn friend of the old 
Roman rusticity, and would not tolerate their vulgar luxuries 
any more than the refined elegance of Scipio ; and now that his 
personal animosity to that great enemy was gratified, they 
apprehended that he might turn and rend them. This was the 
period of Cato's greatness. The Forum rang with his voice ; 
his bitter gibes and caustic sarcasms were repeated everywhere ; 
the People began to recognise him as their champion. At the 
next election of Censors (185), he again came forward, with his 
friend Flaccus by his side ; and though they were opposed by 
seven distinguished candidates, the favour of the People prevailed, 
and the two friends were elected. 

§ 16. Cato was now in full possession of the immense arbi- 
trary powers wielded by the Censor, and determined to put 
down luxury with a strong hand. He had thundered against 
the repeal of the Oppian law during his Consulship, but in 
vain, — the ladies were too strong for him. But now it was his 
turn. Hitherto no property had been included in the Censor's 
register, except land and houses. Cato ordered all valuable slaves 
to be rated at three times the amount of other property, and 
laid a heavy tax on the dress and equipages of the women, if they 
exceeded a certain sum. He struck seven Senators off the list, 
some for paltry causes. Manilius was degraded for kissing his 
wife in public ; another for an unseasonable jest ; but all honest 
men must have applauded when L. Flamininus suffered. At the 
grand review of the Knights he deprived L. Scipio of his horse. 

In the management of public works, Cato showed iudgment 


Chap. XXXYII. CATO. 363 

equal to his vigour. He provided for the repair of the aqueducts 
and reservoirs, and took great pains to amend the drainage of the 
city. He encouraged a fair and open competition for the con- 
tracts of tax-collection, and so much offended the powerful com- 
panies of Publicani, that after he laid down his office he was 
prosecuted, and compelled to pay a fins of 12,000 ases.' 

§ 17. It is manifest also that Cato had given quite a new sig- 
nificance to the Censorial office. The fearless onslaught made 
by him on all abuses had stirred up a nest of hornets. Forty- 
four times he was accused before the people, yet except on 
one occasion he always came off free. More familiar to us than 
almost any of the great men of Eome, we see him with his keen 
gray eyes and red hair, his harsh features and spare athletic 
frame, strong by natural constitution and hardened by exercise, 
clad even at Eome in the coarsest rustic garb, attacking with 
plain but nervous eloquence the luxury and corruption of the 
Nobles. Yet Cato was no demagogue ; indeed, in his way, he 
was as haughty as any noble in the land. His mind was of that 
hard and narrow kind, that when he had formed opinions or con- 
ceived prejudices, nothing could move him. In private business 
he was ruled by calculation solely. He was a great farmer : his 
book on agriculture is still in our hands, and contains a curious 
mixture of shrewd sense, calculating selfishness, and superstitious 
fancies. He encouraged pasturage as the most profitable employ- 
ment of land in Italy. He condemned usury as a crime only less 
. bad than murder, and yet evaded the law which forbade Senators 
t to engage in trade by lending his money to the trading com- 
panies. He advised a farmer to sell off such of his slaves as 
might become useless from age or infirmity. His self-sufficiency 
was intolerable. He was one of those men who, having done 
everything for themselves, have come to think themselves in- 
fallible. The Sabine farmer made himself a perpetual Censor, 
and would fain have laid down the law for every one. 

r 2 

Coin of Perseus 



§ 1, Prudence and energy of Philip. § 2. A Commission sent to check 
Philip. § 3. His son Demetrius sent to Rome: Philip forgiven " for his 
son's sake." § 4. Imprudence of Demetrius : Perseus. § 5. Philip's pre- 
parations and plans. § 6. Murder of Demetrius and death of Philip : 
Perseus. § 7. Measures of Perseus. § 8. Eumenes accuses him at Rome : 
attempt upon the life of Eumenes. § 9. War declared against Perseus : 
he is deceived by Philippus. § 10. Resources of Perseus. § 11 . First and 
second campaigns : end in favour of Perseus. § 12. Discontent through- 
out Greece. § 13. Third campaign: Q. Marcius Philippus: weakness of 
Perseus. § 14. Fourth Campaign: L. iEmilius Paullus, § 15. Severe 
measures of Paullus in the army. § 16. Perseus falls back to Pydna : 
Eclipse of Moon. § 17. Battle of Pydna. § 18. Perseus surrenders. 
§ 19. Settlement of Macedonia. § 20. Greece: Massacre of Epirotes. 
§21. Triumph of Paullus. §22. Death of his sons. §23. Great increase 
of Revenue. § 24. Fate of Perseus. 

§ 1. Philip had of late shown complete submission to Rome ; 
but he was secretly engaged in improving the internal resources 
of Macedon. For a time his ungovernable temper was controlled 
by prudence. He organised an improved system of taxation : he 
established a regular mode of working the gold-mines of Mount 
Pangaeus, which had supplied treasure to his great predecessor 
Philip the Second.* He replenished his wasted population by- 
large draughts of brave barbarians from Thrace. He formed an 
alliance with Prusias of Bithynia, the enemy of Eumenes. He 
ventured to seize iEnos and Maroneia, two Thracian cities lately 
evacuated by Antiochus. 

* See Dr. Smith's History of Greece, Chapt. xlii. § 7. 


§ 2. Eeports of this activity were soon transmitted to Rome 
by Eumenes, and the Senate sent a Commission of inquiry. 

Philip was summoned to appear before them at Temp6, and 
the proud monarch complied. But when he found that he was 
to be stripped of all his Thessalian possessions, his assumed 
calmness gave way, and he broke into an angry threat. " The 
sun, 55 he said, "had not quite set yet. 5 ' The complaints of 
iEnos and Maroneia were reserved for the judgment of the Senate. 
Philip, however, feeling very sure what that judgment would be, 
resolved to gratify his vengeance, and ordered a general massacre 
of the wretched Maroneians. The King was immediately desired 
to send the authors of the massacre for trial at Rome. He 
became much alarmed, and dispatched his younger son Deme- 
trius, who had lived for four years as a hostage at Rome, to 
make intercession in his behalf. 

§ 3. The mission of Demetrius was the beginning of great 
misery to his father. The young man was received by the 
Senate in the most flattering manner. But, at the same time, 
they encouraged every complaint against Philip. Fugitives 
detailed the horrors of the massacre at Maroneia. And when 
Demetrius stood forth in the Senate-house to offer a defence for 
his father, the Chief of the Senate cut him short by asking 
whether he had no written instructions. The young prince 
incautiously produced papers, drawn up with the freedom which 
Philip was likely to use in a confidential memorandum. Upon 
this, the Senate at once gave judgment against him ; " but, 55 it 
was added, "they would forgive him for the sake of Demetrius. 
They would only require that he should withdraw from Thessaly 
and Thrace ; but he must remember that he owed this forbear- 
ance entirely to the young prince his son. 5 ' 

§ 4. The rest of Philip's life was embittered by family in- 
trigues. Demetrius was the favourite of the Macedonians ; and 
even where there is no positive reason, suspicion is apt to grow 
up between an aged King and the popular heir to the crown. 
Such suspicion was, not without cause, aggravated by the honours 
paid to Demetrius at Rome, and by the foolish fondness shown 
by the young prince for everything Roman. There was, more- 
over, an eye watching the young prince with more of jealousy 
than even Philip was likely to feel. Perseus, the King's elder 
son, was born of a concubine. He was reserved in manner, and 
far less popular than Demetrius. He gained his father's ear, and 
led him to believe that Demetrius was endeavouring to antici- 
pate the course of nature in gaining possession of the crown. 
The young prince was committed to the custody of Didas, 
Governor of Peeonia ; and two confidential ministers were sent 


to Home in order to ascertain the truth of the suspicions raised 
by Perseus. 

§ 5. Meanwhile, the King silently continued his preparations. 
Every day, it is said, he had the treaties he had signed with 
Rome read over to him, to remind him of the duty of revenge. 
Filled with jealousy and suspicion, he put many of his great 
nobles to death, and imprisoned their sons, quoting the line of 
Homer, which says, that it is but foolish work to slay the father 
and spare the child.* He endeavoured to balance the suspected 
fidelity of the Macedonians by transporting whole families into 
Emathia, and replacing them by Thracians, who held their lands 
by military service. He formed a bold scheme for employing 
Rome, by inducing the Bastarnians, a people who inhabited the 
country afterwards called Mcesia, to exterminate the Dardanians 
and seize their territory, and then, leaving their families there, 
to pour into Italy by the northern end of the Adriatic. It was 
no doubt in connection with this great plan, that he made a tour 
to the passes of Haemus (the Balkan), of which Livy speaks in 
language that we might use of a person visiting the regions of 

§ 6. On his return gloomy news awaited him. Didas, under 
pretence of sympathy, had led Demetrius to form and to confess 
a scheme for flying to Italy and claiming the protection of the 
Senate. The envoys had come from Rome with what seemed 
to confirm all that Philip or Perseus had suspected ; they 
were the bearers of letters purporting to be written by Fla- 
mininus, and urging the young prince to the worst extremities 
of treason. The unhappy father, who had long wished to dis- 
believe, signed an order for his son's death. Didas attempted 
to take him off by poison; but the unfortunate youug man 
detected the attempt, and was suffocated with brutal violence. 

This event took place in 179 B.C. The old King did not long 
survive. He discovered that the letters of Flamininus were 
forged, and it is said that he meditated disinheriting Perseus. 
But mortal sickness overtook him at Amphipolis. Perseus, 
informed of his father's state, hastened to Pella, and was pro- 
claimed King before others knew of Philip's death. 

The great abilities possessed by Philip were always shown on 
emergencies. But ordinarily his savage passions deprived him 
of the advantages he might have gained, and it was the popular 
belief that the misery of his latter days was a divine retribution 
for the crimes of his life. Perseus had neither the same abilities 
nor the same passions. In manner he was dignified and re- 

* rjwtos, o; vroirzoa, xr£tvr&$ nouboLi jtcurcLXuvai. 


served ; in government he was generally prudent And temperate. 
But he had two defects, which in his position were almost more 
fatal than his father's ferocity, — avarice and timidity. 

§ 7. The first measures of his reign were marked by prudence 
and moderation. After regulating affairs at home, he visited 
Greece and won golden opinions by his gracious manners. The 
patriotic party was inclined to join him against the Eomanising 
tyrants who were raised to power in every State, as formerly the 
same party had been fain to accept the aid of Eome against 
the tyranny of Philip. 

§ 8. The Senate had their eye upon the movements of Per- 
seus ; but it was not till the year 172 B.C. that incidents occurred 
which brought on immediate hostilities. 

- It had been their policy in Asia to increase the power of 
Eumenes of Pergamus, as a balance to the power both of 
Macedonia and Syria. Eumenes was anxious also to extend 
his possessions in Greece ; but the Achaean League, supported 
by Perseus, baffled all his endeavours ; and he appeared at 
Eome as the formal accuser of the King of Macedon. He 
was heard with favour ; and, after a secret debate, the Senate 
called in the envoy sent by Perseus to offer explanations. This 
man perceived that the matter had been prejudged. "His 
master," he said, u was ready to explain ; but if they were bent 
on war, for war he was also prepared." He then hastened home 
to warn Perseus that hostilities must soon begin. 

Matters were precipitated by an attempt on the life of 
Eumenes. At Rome he had been rewarded with the gift of a 
curule chair and ivory staff, the highest honours which the Re- 
public could bestow upon a foreigner ; and, on his return home- 
wards, he landed at Cirrha to pay a devotional visit at Delphi. 
He was ascending the steep road which led to the Temple, 
when he was knocked down by some large stones thrown from 
a wall which skirted the road. He was taken up for dead ; but 
was carried to iEgina, where he recovered. The assassins bad 
escaped. But it was said that they bore letters of introduction 
from Perseus ; and a chief citizen of Brundusium came forward 
to state that he also had been offered bribes from the King to 
poison some of the Roman Senators. 

It is difficult to say how much of these accusations was true. 
But the Senate gave ready credence to the informers, and imme- 
diate war was determined upon. 

§•9. On the very day on which the Consuls for 171 B.C. 
entered on office, a Decree was framed for obtaining from the 
Centuries a declaration of war : and this time the vote passed 
in the affirmative without demur. The command fell to P. Li- 



cinius Crassus. While he was preparing for his expedition, 
Commissioners were sent to different parts of Greece to intimi- 
date the States and prevent them from taking part with Perseus. 
The chief person among them was Q. Marcius Philippus, a 
former friend of Philip, who had borrowed a new family name 
from that monarch. 

Perseus invited him to a conference, which was readily 
accepted by the Roman envoy, for he knew that the Senate 
wished to gain time. Some dispute arose as to the etiquette of 
crossing the Peneiis, where they met. The Roman decided it 
in his own favour by an indifferent jest. "It is meet," said he, 
" that the son should come to the father" The plausible manners 
of Philippus beguiled Perseus. He prayed for an armistice in 
order to send an embassy to the Senate, which Philippus 
granted with apparent unwillingness. He then returned to 
Rome, and had the impudence to boast in open Senate of the 
successful fraud by which he had gained time ; and the Senate, 
with the exception of a few honourable men, had the effrontery 
to approve conduct which much resembled swindling. Phi- 
lippus was sent back to Greece as the diplomatic representative 
of Rome. 

§ 10. It was with reason that the Romans were anxious to 
gain time. The resources of Macedon had been steadily in- 
creasing during a peace of nearly thirty years : the Treasury was 
full. Perseus had a well-appointed army of 40,000 foot and 4000 
horse, besides the troops of his Thracian allies. The phalanx, 
raised to 20,000 men, was formed, as of old, in two divisions, — 
the Silver Shields and the Brass Shields. To oppose this force, 
Crassus landed in Epirus late in the season with 28,000 foot 
and 2000 horse, for the most part raw troops. 

§ 11. When Perseus discovered the fraud that had been prac- 
tised upon him, he formed an entrenched camp on the western 
slope of Ossa, favourably situated for foraging in the plain of the 
Peneiis, and for commanding his communications with Macedon 
by the Pass of Temp6. Meanwhile Crassus had threaded the 
passes of Western Thessaly without molestation and advanced 
to Larissa, where to his joy he found Eumenes, now recovered 
from his wounds, with his brother Attalus, at the head of 4000 
foot and 1000 horse. These additions to his force, with Achaean 
and iEtolian auxiliaries, and some Numidian horse, made his 
army nearly equal in number to that of Perseus, though it was 
much inferior in quality. 

The Consul felt this, and steadily declined battle, till Perseus 
advanced to the very gates of the Roman camp, and drove the 
Romans in. He did not, however, venture to attack the camp, 


and Crassus decamped across the Peneiis. The blame of the 
defeat was laid upon the iEtolians ; and five chiefs of that nation 
were sent to be tried before the Senate. 

Perseus sued for peace on the terms of the treaty of Flamini- 
nus ; but the Consul obstinately refused all terms short of abso- 
lute submission. Even this defiance failed to rouse the spirit of 
the .King. He sent a second message, offering to increase the 
tribute paid by his father ; but the same contemptuous rep]y 
met his advances. 

The new Consul Au. Hostilius Mancinus arrived early in the 
season to take the command (170 B.C.). He made an attempt to 
force the Cambunian passes, but was repulsed at every point. 

§ 12. The success of the Macedonians had given life to the 
smouldering discontent of Greece. The presence of the Roman 
fleet at Chalcis alone prevented Boeotia from rising in a mass. 
Epirus, hitherto devoted to Rome, reaped no benefit from 
her submissive conduct. Cephalus had long held the govern- 
ment ; and though in his heart he hated Italian dominion, 
he had scrupulously observed every obligation laid upon him. 
But the ear of the Senatorial Commissioners was gained by 
Charops, grandson of that Charops who had assisted Flamininus 
to turn the Pass of Klissoura. Cephalus felt that his turn 
would come next ; and he engaged with Perseus to raise Epirus 
against Rome. 

§ 13. The Consul who followed Hostilius was Q. Marcius Phi- 
lippus, the cajoler of Perseus. Philippus, though he was past 
sixty and of unwieldy corpulence, displayed more vigour than 
his predecessors. Avoiding the gorge of Temp6 and the Cambu- 
nian Passes, he carried his army by a difficult path over the 
north-western shoulder of Mount Olympus, and appeared within 
a few miles of Dium, where Perseus was lying in fancied security. 
The King, panic-stricken, ordered a precipitate retreat to Pydna, 
and sent off two of his confidential ministers, — one to Pella to 
throw his treasure into the sea, the other to Thessalonica to 
destroy his naval stores. 

Philippus, astonished at his own success, pursued the King : 
but he could obtain no provisions, and was obliged to retreat to 
Tempe. On his retreat, Perseus returned to Dium. Ashamed 
of his own pusillanimity, he censured his officers for suffering the 
Romans to pass over Mount Olympus ; and ordered the ministers 
whom he had commissioned to destroy his arsenal and sink his 
treasure to be put to death, in the idle hope that the truth might 
be concealed. 

§ 14. The only substantial success gained by the Consul Phi- 
lippus was the opening of the Pass of Temp6. Public feeling at 

E 3 


Rome began to show signs of impatience. The Senate perceived 
that they must no longer dally with the war, and resolved to 
promote the election of L. iEmilius Paullus to the Consulship. 
This eminent man, the son-in-law of Scipio, had lived in retire- 
ment since the fall of his great kinsman. He was now past sixty, 
and had always been rejected as a candidate for the Consul- 
ship, but in the hour of need was appointed to the command by 
a special decree of the Senate. 

He resolved, however, first to make the present state of things 
fully known. He therefore insisted on sending Commissioners 
to report on the condition of both the armies. This report was 
not encouraging. Perseus was still at Dium with all his forces 
round him. The Consul could not stir from Temp6. Epirus 
was in full insurrection. The fleet was as ill off as the army. 
Eumenes had withdrawn. Both he and the Rhodians had shown 
symptoms of disaffection to Rome. Genthius, King of Illyria, 
was expected to join Perseus. 

§ 15, Paullus deemed the occasion worthy of all attention. No 
Legionary Tribunes were appointed but men of proved experi- 
ence. The army was made up to more than 30,000 men. One 
Prsetor, Cn. Octavius, took the command of the fleet. L. Anicius, 
the Praetor Peregrinus, was dispatched with 10,000 foot and 800 
horse to attack Genthius at home. An army of reserve was 
formed in Italy. 

The commanders left Rome early in April of the year 168 B.C. 
Paullus, accompanied by his two sons, and by young Scipio 
Nasica, son of the "best man" (Chapt. xxx. § 15), travelled 
post-haste to Brundusium, crossed to Dyrrhachium in one day ; 
in five days more reached Delphi, where he stayed to offer sacri- 
fice to Apollo ; and in five days more joined the army at Temp§. 
A few severe examples checked disorder, and strict regulations 
restored discipline. The fame of the new Consul alarmed the 
feeble Perseus. Nor was his alarm lessened by hearing that 
the Praetor Anicius had pursued Genthius fromLissus to Scodra, 
and had com] elled the chief to surrender at discretion. 

§ 16. Yet the defensive measures taken by Perseus were good. 
He had drawn entrenchments along the deep bed of the Enipeus 
from the base of Mount Olympus to the sea ; and Paullus thought 
the Macedonian position too strong to be assailed in f